Energy Innovation Key for Utility Planning, Honeywell and NRStor Partnership and More

Welcome to the weekly newsletter of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC), the business voice for advanced energy in Michigan. Here’s what’s new this week:


Michigan EIBC: Utilities Must Be Open to Innovation

In a recent article published on the Energy News Network, Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman made the case for why utilities need to work with the growing industry of energy innovators to benefit their customers.

Simply put, technology and policy is moving too fast for any one investor-owned utility to be able to determine alone what combination of renewable energy, storage, non-wires alternatives and more would be best for utility customers. Sherman uses the example of DTE Energy’s integrated resource plan and how, although the plan demonstrates real progress for the utility, its models are limiting. 

Dr. Sherman ultimately calls for more utility openness to competition from outside parties so the best innovations that make economic sense can be identified.

Read the whole piece here.  


Honeywell and NRStor Partner On New Battery Storage Deployment

  Michigan EIBC members Honeywell and NRStor last week announced an agreement to together develop and operate 300 MW of behind-the-meter (BTM) battery storage systems for commercial and industrial (C&I) customers across the U.S. and Canada starting early next year. 

Known as the Experion® Energy Program, the new effort will be the largest BTM energy storage deployment to date in North America, Honeywell and NRStor said in a statement

“This BTM deployment alone matches North America’s total energy storage deployments in 2018,” NRStor C&I L.P. CEO Moe Hajabed said.

Two remote operation centers will use algorithms and artificial intelligence to predict times of peak demand and automatically control the battery systems so they maximize savings on electricity for customers.

The program is an example of a potential market for third-party energy storage management. Many C&I customers may want a developer with expertise to operate the battery for them. The Experion® system can be a base with flexibility to tackle different types of storage applications, including solar plus storage and wind plus storage, Honeywell Process Solutions General Manager, Renewable Energy and Distributed Assets Eren Ergin said in an interview with POWER magazine. “The platform can do energy management, and supervisory control, for DERMS (distributed energy resources management systems), VPP (virtual power plants), all of this is in one single platform. We start with the immediate asset, the energy storage, and add more capabilities as we go along,” he said.  

Upcoming Events To Educate Advanced Energy Community on Corporate Renewable Energy Purchasing and Solar Rate Design

   Michigan EIBC has two events in the coming weeks that will educate interested members, the advanced energy community, and the public about two of the most important (but often not well understood) fields in energy today.

The first, on Wed., Oct. 2, focuses on corporations’ efforts to purchase renewable energy in order to meet sustainability goals and take advantage of affordable clean energy, among other motivations. Michigan EIBC member Hemlock Semiconductor, the country’s leading producer of polycrystalline silicon used in solar panels, will open its facilities at its headquarters near Saginaw for the panel discussion and a tour. The panel will feature Chris Mathey from the Renewable Energy Buyers Association, Jeffrey Myrom from Consumers Energy, Jennifer Heston from Fraser Law Firm and Phil Rausch from Hemlock Semiconductor. RSVP for this event here.

The next event, on Mon., Oct. 7 at the Ann Arbor City Council Chambers, will teach participants about how electric rates can be designed to fairly value solar energy. This is an event for anyone interested in how distributed generation can continue to prosper in Michigan. The speaker is National Regulatory Research Institute Principal Researcher, Energy and Environment Tom Stanton, who worked in Michigan state government for 32 years. RSVP for this event here.  


Michigan Energy Innovators Gala on Nov 14 – Still Time to RSVP Or Sponsor!

The 7th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala on Thursday, Nov 14, at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, featuring Governor Gretchen Whitmer as the keynote speaker, will celebrate individuals and businesses who have worked to grow Michigan’s advanced energy sector in 2019. That includes recognizing winners in the categories of:

Business of the Year
Emerging Business of the Year
Project of the Year
Public Official of the Year

Advanced energy business leaders, legislators, Michigan Public Service Commission staff, state government officials, and other key decision-makers will be in attendance, and 90 minutes has been set aside for networking before the program begins. RSVP early, as this event will sell out!

Sponsorship opportunities are available for the event and can be found on the Michigan EIBC website


Gigawatt Level

Megawatt Level




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New Member

Windemuller Inc.
Windemuller provides advanced technical and design services throughout Michigan and beyond. The company was established in 1954 as an electrical contractor and has since expanded into automation, communications and IT, electrical services, outdoor utilities, and renewable energy. Within those categories, we have worked on projects relating to Healthcare, Data Centers, Oil and Gas, Pharmaceuticals, Industrial Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Agricultural, and Public Works.

From sophisticated security systems for the government, to controls and automated processes for environmental cleanups or responding to emergencies on an industrial site, Windemuller is responsive and innovative. We offer a 24 hour service department that’s available 365 days a year.

With Branch offices located in Southern, Mid and Northern Michigan, Windemuller also has satellite offices in Big Rapids, Kalamazoo, Petoskey and Whitehall. Visit our Locations web page for more information.

At its heart, Windemuller is about our people and the people we serve. We are more than 200 individuals strong and serve thousands of customers of all sizes within industrial, government, municipal, and commercial entities.  


Michigan Energy News

  • DTE Energy announces that it plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and that it will explore small modular nuclear reactors, carbon capture and “large-scale storage” as tools to reach that goal.
  • Upper Peninsula Power Co. wants to buy power from a utility-scale solar project in order to reduce costs for its customers who pay some of the highest rates in the country.
  • Traverse City commissioners consider offering on-bill financing for customers of Traverse City Light & Power to help them fund home efficiency upgrades.
  • Striking GM workers say that plans to produce an all-electric truck may be the best opportunity for GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant.
  • North Central Michigan College in Petoskey has installed a solar panel array and EV charging station.
  • The start of construction is delayed for a proposed $400 million natural gas-fired power plant in Marshall.
  • A bill in the Michigan House seeks to expand access to community solar projects.
  • MPSC Chairman Sally Talberg speaks to Michigan Radio about how to make the state’s energy infrastructure more resilient.

National Energy News

  • FERC is considering proposed changes to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) that some groups such as the Solar Energy Industries Association say would disadvantage small renewable projects.
  • A solar farm under development in Tennessee by Michigan EIBC member Invenergy would be the biggest solar energy purchase yet for Google.
  • The overlap of solar panel users and EV customers has been overstated, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report.
  • Some experts are saying that Texas’s ability to maintain grid reliability over this past summer is proof that the state can safely integrate high amounts of renewable energy while maintaining a reliable electricity supply
  • Extending the solar investment tax credit by 10 years would lead to 82 GW of additional solar deployment, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
  • Utilities in the Northeast are becoming “enthusiastic collaborators” with distributed energy resource providers like Michigan EIBC member Sunrun.

Michigan Energy Events

Michigan EIBC invites you to our Properly Valuing Solar Through Rate Design networking meeting in Ann Arbor on Oct. 7, featuring Tom Stanton, Principal Researcher, Energy and Environment, at the National Regulatory Research Institute. Tickets available here.

Michigan EIBC member Lean & Green Michigan is holding the first West Michigan PACE Summit in Grand Rapids on Oct. 10. Learn more here.

Learn more about carbon capture technology from University of Michigan Global CO2 Initiative Director Volker Sick in an event in Grand Rapids on Oct. 17Register here.

The University of Michigan Energy Institute’s 2019 Conference on Transportation, Economics, Energy and the Environment will be held on Oct. 18 and is now open for registration.

Michigan Interfaith Power & Light’s 2019 Sustainability Conference features several environmental topics. It is being held Nov. 8 at Marygrove College in Detroit. Registration is open now.  

National Energy Events

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service is holding Discover Global Markets: Powering & Building the Middle East & Africa in Houston, Texas from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. This event is for companies who want to learn how to enter the renewable energy, electricity infrastructure, construction, engineering, transportation and oil & gas sectors in the Middle East & Africa. There is also the opportunity to pre-schedule meetings at the event with U.S. commercial diplomats. Learn more here.

On Oct. 2 in London, UK, Greentech Media’s Off-Grid Energy Access Forum is featuring speakers including Valérie Levkov, VP for Africa, Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean at EDF, parent company of Michigan EIBC member EDF Renewables, on the topic of solar systems and mini-grids in the developing world. Click here to register.

Register here for Advanced Energy Now | West, Advanced Energy Economy’s regional energy policy conference, to be held Oct. 16 to 17 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Greentech Media’s Power & Renewables Summit is in Austin, Tex., on Oct. 29 to 30. Topics include clean energy mandates, post-subsidy scenarios, East Coast offshore wind, distributed energy resource participation in wholesale markets and more. Go here to register.

Energy Storage North America’s 2019 Conference & Expo is in San Diego from Nov. 5 to 7.

The U.S. Commercial Service has also organized the Clean Energy and Zero Emission Vehicle Technologies Trade Mission to Mexico from Nov. 18 to 23. This one-week trip for U.S. companies involves one-on-one meetings, conferences, roundtables, a networking reception and OEM and tier 1 plant visits with the automotive and clean energy industry in Mexico. Contact U.S. Commercial Service Mexico Energy Industry Specialist Claudia Salgado at The U.S. Commercial Service is also offering free consultancies for Michigan EIBC members interested in these business sectors in Mexico.
Infocast’s Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit is in San Diego from Feb. 4 to Feb. 6, 2020.


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Technology, Management and Budget are preparing two requests for proposals involving the development of solar photovoltaic systems at the Oden State Fish Hatchery and Seven Lakes State Park. An informational webinar is set for Oct. 10Learn more here.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service is seeking applications for its Rural Energy for America Program, which makes loan guarantees and grants available for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency, energy audits and more. The deadlines to apply for renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants are Oct. 31, 2019, and March 31, 2020, while applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round. Find out more here.

The Michigan Energy Office’s Small Manufacturers Energy Waste Reduction Incentive Pilot is offering rebates of up to $15,000 per company for small manufacturers that can implement energy efficiency activities between Oct. 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020. There is a 100% minimum match requirement. Click here to learn more about eligibility and apply.