- Newsletter (345)
Energy 101 for Legislators: Corporate Purchasing of Renewable Energy
On Wednesday, the Institute for Energy Innovation (IEI) and Michigan EIBC hosted our final 2018 Energy 101 Lunch & Learn in the Mackinac Room of the Anderson House Office Building in Lansing. The event, which was open to legislators, legislative staff, and Michigan EIBC members, focused on the procurement of renewable energy by Michigan companies. We began the program with an overview of corporate purchasing of renewable energy, highlighting the uptick in companies choosing to voluntarily purchase electricity from renewable sources. The panel featured Michigan EIBC board member Brian Pageau of Foresight, Gabe Wing of Herman Miller, and Michigan EIBC member Brad Pnazek of Tradewind Energy. The panelists helped legislators and staff understand what’s driving the private sector interest in renewable energy, the role of policy in enabling or limiting the opportunity for private companies to purchase renewable energy, and how real-world projects come to fruition in Michigan.
In 2019, Michigan EIBC and IEI will host three more educational events geared toward legislators:
- February 20 – The Basics of Energy
- May 22 – Topic TBD
- October 22 – Topic TBD
We’ll share more information about our 2019 Energy 101 series early next year.
Activity on Energy-Related Legislation During Lame Duck
Michigan EIBC and our team at Dykema have been busy this week following the lame duck session in Lansing. In particular, we’ve been keeping track of the following legislation:
- HR 387 (Rep. Sheppard): A resolution to encourage the Michigan Agency for Energy to undertake a collaborative discussion with all interested stakeholders concerning the potential to integrate energy storage into Michigan’s electric market. Update: HR 387 passed through the House Energy Committee on Tuesday. EIBC member company Invenergy provided testimony on the bill on Tuesday and Michigan EIBC submitted a card in support.
- SB 1096 (Sen. Green): A bill to codify the depreciation schedule for wind turbines. Update: SB 1096 was voted out of the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday 4-3. A vote in the Senate has not been scheduled and it is unclear as to whether one will be scheduled.
- HB 4968 (Rep. Glenn): A bill to require planning commissions and zoning boards of appeals to abstain from voting on financial issues or contracts when a conflict of interest exists. Update: HB 4968 was not taken up in the House Energy Committee on Tuesday. It could be taken up next week, but time is running short for any action to be taken yet this year.
- HB 5143 and HB 5680 (Rep. Barrett): Legislation to clarify Michigan’s solar tax policy. The bills would classify rooftop solar installations as personal property, preventing solar installations from increasing a homeowner’s property value and taxes until after the home is sold. Update: We expect that these non-controversial bills will pass the Senate next week.
- HB 6427 (Rep. Howell): A bill to restrict the siting of wind turbines within two miles of state game areas. Update: HB 6427 was not taken up this week and, from what we have heard, is unlikely to see any further activity during lame duck.
Michigan EIBC and our team at Dykema will continue to monitor lame duck activity on issues impacting the advanced energy industry and Michigan EIBC membership.
Project Profile: Michigan’s Largest PACE Project
To close out 2018, we’re recapping some of the year’s exciting projects from our member companies. If you have a project you’d like us to profile, please reach out to email@example.com.
The Lean & Green Michigan Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program run by Michigan EIBC member company Levin Energy Partners had a banner year. . This year, Michigan’s largest project to use PACE financing was coordinated by Levin Energy Partners. PACE financing, which offers property owners long-term, cost-effective financing for commercial customer-sited renewable energy, energy efficiency, or water efficiency measures, provided the capital for the historic St. Clair Inn to undergo a radical transformation. Planet Clair, LLC, owned by developer Jeff Katofsky, implemented a broad array of updates including LED lights, efficient appliances and water saving measures, using over $5.5 million in PACE financing.
The project is part of a larger effort to restore the registered historic landmark from 1926 that will bring renewed pride to locals and luxury options for visitors. To complete the work, Planet Clair plans to hire 150 people to work year-round and 100 seasonal employees.
Michigan Energy Stories
- In a speech this week to a large, business-friendly crowd in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Consumers Energy President and CEO Patti Poppe presented an economic case for solar power, electric vehicles and moving past coal.
- Michigan International Speedway is home to a special “Nite Lites” show at a local solar array for the holiday season.
- The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) rejects a Michigan lawmaker’s proposal to endorse electric market competition.
- The Northport Energy Action Taskforce was founded a decade ago with a singular mission: to make the tip of Leelanau County completely green. The group hasn’t gotten there yet, but it’s had some significant achievements.
- General Motors will end production of the Chevy Volt and five other vehicles by the end of 2019.
- The City of Kentwood joined a growing list of municipalities striving to promote energy efficiency through Lean & Green Michigan, which operates the PACE program in Michigan. 22 counties and 13 cities and townships in Michigan have adopted the financing tool, including the cities of Wyoming and Grand Rapids.
National Energy Stories
- Puerto Rico looks to be the next jurisdiction that will pursue a goal of 100 percent renewable power, but not before a clash over natural gas.
- Utilities are developing integration strategies to take advantage of energy efficiency, demand response and distributed resources.
- U.S. coal consumption drops to its lowest level since 1979, according to a report from the Energy Information Administration.
- Xcel Energy commits to achieving 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050 across all eight states it serves.
- U.S. grid operators file plans with federal regulators on how they plan to integrate energy storage into wholesale power markets.
- Virginia solar developers learn how to integrate projects with their surroundings to ease land-use disputes.
- A new study finds that converting gas heat pumps to electric could slash greenhouse gas emissions in half in California homes.
- A growing number of Wisconsin businesses install solar panels as prices continue to drop.
- A newly elected team of state legislators and governors around the country who are considered friendly to renewable energy takes the field this winter and could clear the way for a new growth spurt in wind and solar generation.
Michigan Energy Events
GLREA is pleased to announce the 2018 Annual Meeting on Saturday, December 8. The meeting will take place at the ‘Freighhouse’ located at 100 Market Pl, in Ypsilanti, MI 48198. For more information, visit the GLREA website.
On Tuesday, December 11, NextEnergy is hosting an informational session and webinar for mobility startups to learn more about the PlanetM Startup Grants. Register here.
You’re invited to attend our final 2018 electric vehicle convening on December 19th from 12pm – 3pm at the Michigan Public Service Commission (7109 West Saginaw Highway, Lansing, MI). RSVP here.
Attend Automobli-D January 14-17, an event showcasing suppliers driving mobility technology, V2I connectivity, urban mobility, smart cities, building a mobility workforce, ride sharing, cybersecurity and autonomous technologies.
The North American International Auto Show is Jan. 14-27 in Detroit.
You are cordially invited to participate in the first meeting of the Third-Party Community Energy Projects Workgroup. The meeting will be held on Thursday, January 24, 2019 at 10 o’clock in the Lake Michigan Hearing Room of the Commission Office at 7109 West Saginaw Highway in Lansing. The meeting content will also be available remotely. A website with information regarding this workgroup (including agendas and contacts) may be found at https://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0,4639,7-159-16393-484912–,00.html.
National Energy Events
Attend the Smart Cities International Symposium & Exhibition Jan. 22-24 in Chicago.
The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Winter Policy Summit is February 10-13, 2019 in Washingtion DC. Click here for more information.
Announcements and Opportunities
Wolverine Power Cooperative seeks a Director of Portfolio Modeling to enhance Wolverine’s utilization of advanced analytics and data science. Learn more: bit.ly/2BRTSnP