- Newsletter (345)
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:
Gov. Whitmer’s Budget Includes Major Clean Energy Proposals
This week Gov. Whitmer released her recommendations for the state budget for fiscal year 2023, and it placed a strong emphasis on clean energy and mobility. Here are some of the highlights of new additions to this year’s budget that would be invested into policy areas most relevant to Michigan EIBC members:
- $1B to improve school facilities including (but not limited to) water, HVAC, and energy projects.
- $500M investment to the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) fund that was previously used to incentivize GM’s recent investments.
- $110M for the deployment of EV charging infrastructure.
- $130M for a transformational education grant that will improve EV teaching, training, and development opportunities, increase educational opportunities around electric vehicles, and develop an economic development strategy to address the emerging EV market.
- $50M for the EV rebate program to help families purchase new electric vehicles and at-home charging equipment.
- $34.33M for the climate resilient infrastructure program to help communities with climate resiliency planning and infrastructure needs.
The proposal, which is subject to negotiation with the legislature, is for the state budget that would take effect Oct. 1.
ACEEE Report Shows Efficiency Progress Despite Pandemic
Despite the challenges the pandemic posed to the efficiency industry, in 2020 Michigan grew the amount of energy waste reduced as a percentage of retail sales and also maintained a high ranking among the 50 states for energy waste reduction, according to a recently-released report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
ACEEE typically releases an annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard that ranks the states on their energy efficiency policies. But for this year, due to the deleterious impact of the coronavirus pandemic on efficiency programs, ACEEE said it “decided to forgo a formal Scorecard ranking in favor of an unranked and unscored end-of-year progress report that still recognizes the latest developments in energy-saving state policies.”
The 2021 Progress Report has useful statistics for Michigan’s efficiency progress. Michigan was the 8th out of the 50 states for highest net incremental electricity savings in 2020, with 1.6 million MWh saved, or 1.63% of retail sales, up from 1.41% in the previous scorecard. The 2021 report also showed that Michigan is second-highest among the states for natural gas and fuel efficiency program savings.
“Despite the challenges of 2020, the total annual impact of efficiency programs continues to grow, since most efficiency measures generate savings for residents and businesses for years after they are installed,” the report said.
Michigan EIBC, AEE Comment on Regulatory Push for Better Data Access
Michigan has only scratched the surface of what is possible when it comes to using customer data to optimize energy use. The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), as part of the MI Power Grid effort, has been developing recommendations on customer data access and privacy. This week, Michigan EIBC and Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) submitted comments on those recommendations, laying out a vision for how to strike the right balance between, on one hand, the ability of customers to share data with third parties so they can take advantage of modern energy management tools that rely on data, and, on the other, protecting the privacy of data that customers may not want to share.
“Policymakers should adopt regulations that enable a data-rich environment which encourages and empowers utilities, customers, and third parties to share energy billing, system, and usage data,” our comments said. Customers need to be owners of their data, but at the same time, “if the sharing process between customers and third parties is too cumbersome, very few customers are likely to complete the process or follow through with sharing their data on an ongoing basis if that is needed for the provision of the service.” The comments call for the use of authentication credentials, standardized language across multiple applications or platforms and a seamless click-through menu or window to make customer consent a smooth process. We also call for the MPSC to consider how some policies that are intended to protect customer privacy may actually be more of a hindrance than help, such as requiring separate data sharing requests and approvals for multiple accounts held by a single customer.
Enertech Global builds the highest quality geothermal heat pumps and distributes solar and power products.
Complex Challenges Practical Solutions
Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. (ECT), is an industry leader in responsive, client-focused environmental solutions through the innovative application of best management practices, sound science, engineering, and technology.
Natural Resources Service Line –
Innovative natural resources management, siting, licensing & permitting solutions.
ECT provides proven planning, design, and permitting strategies that maximize value and accelerate timelines for a variety of Natural Resource projects from habitat enhancement to pre-development due diligence surveys. Our comprehensive understanding of natural systems and environmental policy experience has made us a trusted advisor and strategic partner to a host of market-leading clients, including renewables; power; mining; oil and gas; transportation; manufacturing and industry; land development; financial, nonprofit, and government sectors.
With experience involving some of the most rigorous federal, state, and local permitting processes in the country, our natural resource management teams work closely with clients, stakeholder interests and regulatory agencies to navigate applications through the objections of often entrenched opposition, and the otherwise difficult permitting process. Led by highly-credentialed and seasoned experts, this collaborative and turnkey approach remains a source of cost-effective solutions to clients nationwide.
PACE Loan Group
Founded in 2017, PLG is led by career financial and commercial real estate professionals and has established itself as a leading direct PACE lender nationwide.
Peracchio & Company, LLC
John Peracchio provides strategic consulting services in the intelligent transportation systems (“ITS”) sector and automotive industry for strategic and investor clients. His focus is on deployment of mobility solutions across transportation modes, especially those involving connected and highly automated vehicles as well as innovation in transaction management and payments processing.
Attorneys in Potomac Law Group’s energy practice have significant experience in conventional, alternative and renewable energy development and operation. PLG attorneys have been involved in energy legal issues for more than 35 years and have both the 40,000-foot perspective and the detailed knowledge of this highly-regulated industry to help their clients meet their energy goals in the new energy marketplace.
Founded in 2000, Walker-Miller Energy Services (WMES) is a woman & minority-owned urban energy waste reduction company focusing on empowering people and enriching communities. We achieve that by providing an exceptional experience to our customers, our team members and the communities in which we serve. Our talented team of Certified Energy Managers (CEM), BPI Certified Energy Analysts, LEED accredited Professionals, Building Analysts, and internal support staff have been delivering energy efficiency services for nearly two decades.
Michigan Energy News
- Graphex Technologies is entering into a joint venture with Royal Oak-based Emerald Energy Solutions to construct and operate a facility in Michigan that would process graphene and graphite, key components for lithium-ion batteries.
- The Natural Resources Defense Council releases an analysis that finds that the Build Back Better plan could create thousands of jobs in Michigan
- DTE plans to add about 500 MW of wind and solar capacity to its MIGreenPower program.
- Michigan should be careful to avoid a rush to build natural gas infrastructure as it tries to reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, Energy Innovation’s Silvio Marcacci writes.
- Solar experts are blasting DTE’s proposed fees on rooftop solar as “draconian.”
- The city of Grand Haven plans to build more EV charging stations.
National Energy News
- Investor-owned utility commitments to net-zero emissions will not have much of an impact on U.S. emissions because most of those greenhouse gas emissions reductions were going to happen anyway, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.
- The failure to update federal government reports on precipitation is hindering city efforts to prepare buildings for severe weather.
- The Biden administration is asking states to submit their plans for how they will use federal funds to build EV charging stations.
- Georgia Power Co. plans to test out the novel iron-air battery technology from Michigan EIBC member Form Energy.
- Several gubernatorial races to be decided this November have big implications for EV and renewable energy policy.
- The Biden administration and Puerto Rico reach a memorandum of understanding to benefit Puerto Rico’s drive toward renewable energy and energy stability.
Attention Michigan EIBC members: if you have a job announcement you would like in the newsletter, please send a paragraph describing the position and a link to apply to Matt Bandyk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include in the email a specific end date for the job posting.
“We are looking for an experienced and talented Outreach Professional to lead the technical sales outreach effort to promote and increase participation in our energy efficiency utilities programs midstream (instant discount) and downstream residential and commercial. As an outreach professional for energy efficiency programs with Energy Sciences, you will join our team of degreed energy efficiency professionals helping utility customers take advantage of incentives to reduce energy use in residential and commercial buildings and industrial processes and plants.”
Lean & Green Michigan
Lean & Green Michigan is seeking a motivated and self-directed individual to join the team, communicating through a variety of media about all aspects of the Lean & Green Michigan PACE program. The successful candidate should have excellent writing and communication skills, experience with social media, enthusiasm for working in the business community, environmental policy, renewable energy and energy efficiency, attention to detail, and strong desire to deploy energy and water efficiency and renewable energy in Michigan.
Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association
The Membership Director will strengthen MEECA’s capacity by supporting the organization’s membership base. The Membership Director will develop and manage a program to regularly engage with member companies to serve their needs. This person will also streamline the annual renewal process, contribute to MEECA’s website and social media presence, and perform other duties assigned by the Executive Director. This is a part-time, remote position for a Michigan resident.
“Support NextEnergy’s Mobility practice through the execution of programs designed to accelerate smart, clean, accessible solutions for communities and cities under the leadership of the Director, Technology Development. You’ll work with technology companies, business stakeholders, public agencies, and NextEnergy partners to launch and manage demonstrations of technologies that help demonstrate and commercialize next-generation mobility technologies and business models.”
Ranger Power is seeking an Assistant Development Manager to join its development team in its Chicago office. As part of a small and dynamic development team, assistant development managers are expected to manage varying responsibilities as projects progress through the development process. As a developer at Ranger Power, you will drive all aspects of project development and strategy, including site prospecting and land acquisition, site analysis, landowner relations, permitting, interconnection, business development, and community engagement and outreach.
SunPower is seeking a Senior Associate, Market Development and Policy, to advocate on SunPower’s behalf on state policy with various public service commissions, state legislatures, and state agencies to drive residential, commercial and community solar and energy storage adoption in the Midwest U.S., particularly in Illinois and Michigan. The successful candidate must be a self-starter, comfortable working remotely, and have experience navigating various regulatory dockets, reviewing public comments, and summarizing state legislation. Frequent travel within the Midwest region may be required at times. Location is flexible, although presence in Illinois is preferred.
Position: Construction Manager
Utopian Power is seeking a Construction Manager for our growing development company. The Construction Manager will be focused on all field related project delivery, including hands-on electrical work, contractor supervision and project related travel as required. The ideal candidate has solar installation expertise and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously. This position will have the ability to grow into a larger leadership position (if desired) with company and personal growth. Please send resume and interest to email@example.com. Job applications accepted until Feb. 4.
Michigan and National Energy Events
The 10th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators will be held April 26 at the Kellogg Conference Center at MSU in East Lansing. Information on speakers and registration will be announced soon.
EGLE Energy Services is offering $250,000 in grants to small manufacturers in Michigan to implement energy efficiency activities that can be completed by Aug. 31, 2022, with a maximum grant for $25,000 per manufacturer. Application deadline is April 30.
American Electric Power (AEP) is issuing an RFP that “seeks up to 800 MW of Wind resources, 500 MW of Solar resources, and other qualified capacity resources from thermal, standalone storage, emerging technologies, and other capacity resources.” AEP subsidiary Indiana Michigan Power identified the need for supply-side generation in its RFP.
Consumers Energy has released draft materials for its RFP to be issued in February that will solicit solar and wind generation projects in accordance with the company’s expansion of its Voluntary Green Pricing Program. A virtual pre-RFP stakeholder meeting is scheduled for Feb. 15. This RFP will be administered by Enel X, affiliated with Michigan EIBC member Enel Green Power. According to the RFP administrator, “questions pertaining to this RFP or the proposal submittal process can be sent via email to Enel X by way of VGPRFP@enel.com. In the event others within your organization did not receive this notice and are interested in being added to the RFP listserv, please send a request via email to VGPRFP@enel.com with contact details for those to be added.”
The Community Collaboration on Climate Change (C4) is seeking a full-time contract position to provide coordination of C4 leadership, organizational representatives, Grand Rapids residents, and the program deliverables.
State of Michigan DNR is going big in solar with projects in the ground, others in development and additional ones being planned. DNR has released a Request for Proposal for Prequalification Program for Renewable Energy PPAs: www.michigan.gov/sigmavss. Use “Guess Access” to get the RFP. A previous round of pre-qualifications netted solar companies that then were able to bid on a portfolio of DNR solar projects in Southwest Michigan. Another portfolio in the Northern Region is in the works for later this year. Only companies who pre-qualify can bid on future DNR solar projects. Please direct all correspondence to the Solicitation Manager, Laura Gyorkos at gyorkosL@michigan.gov.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s PlanetM Testing Grant gives mobility companies the opportunity to access testing facilities around the state, including Mcity at the University of Michigan. Apply here.
The Detroit 2030 District is a free program that challenges Detroit building owners and managers to reduce wasted energy. Those that achieve the greatest reductions from the prior-year baseline will be recognized at the first annual Detroit Energy Challenge Award Ceremony in 2021. Visit 2030districts.org/Detroit to find out more information including how a building can apply.