How to Zone and Permit Solar, Electrification Showcase 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:

New Guide Helps Local Governments Integrate Solar Into Land Use and Permitting Rules

Michigan EIBC member companies have been installing solar projects large and small all over the state, but the growth of solar in Michigan is only beginning, with thousands of megawatts expected to be added over the coming decades. Adding significantly more solar, however, can be made difficult by local zoning ordinances, or the lack thereof. A new guide to planning and zoning for solar is confronting that problem by providing local planners, officials, and legal counsels with the information they need to make a jurisdiction “solar-ready.”

Planning and Zoning for Solar Energy Systems: A Guide for Michigan Local Governments, released Oct. 7, was developed by experts within Michigan State University Extension and Michigan State University’s School of Planning, Design and Construction, in partnership with the University of Michigan Graham Sustainability Institute. It notes that based on a 2019 study, only 20% of Michigan communities have zoning regulations in place to address all of the various scales of solar energy, from 1 MW or less to 200 MW or more. The guide offers communities sample language for an ordinance that includes solar energy systems and covers a wide range of permitting issues.

Download the full report.  




Showcase Brings Electric Appliances to the Michigan Capitol

On Oct. 7 the Michigan Capitol Lawn became a demonstration ground for how electrification isn’t just the future of Michigan’s homes—the technology is here now. At the first-ever Electric Appliance Showcase, distributors and manufacturers of electric heat pumps, water heaters and other appliances were on the lawn with samples of their products to show how easy it is to go electric. The event was sponsored by The Michigan Environmental Council, the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum, the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, Green Home Institute, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Michigan EIBC members Enertech and Michigan Saves were among the participants in the showcase.

“Michigan’s energy businesses and manufacturers continue to grow our state’s economy by creating well-paying jobs and sparking investment,” Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman said in a statement about the showcase. “By investing in energy efficient electric appliances for our homes and businesses, Michigan consumers can make choices in our daily lives that support further job creation and create economic development opportunities for Michigan’s advanced energy businesses.”

Energy Efficiency Day Celebrates Value of Energy Savings

Oct. 6 was Energy Efficiency Day, a nationwide campaign to recognize and celebrate the benefits of energy efficiency, in which over 800 local governments, universities, organizations, corporations, and utilities participated. 

Organizations recognized Energy Efficiency Day with actions like chronicling on social media the tangible ways energy efficiency has improved lives.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, for example, surveyed its staff for stories about how they have personally used efficiency measures. Among the responses was Director of Development Corinne Abbott:
…[Abbott] recently replaced many of her drafty, warped, wood-framed, double-hung windows with vinyl ENERGY STAR® windows. These windows have two panes of glass with a layer of inert gas, in this case argon, between them. They help minimize heat transfer between indoors and the outside, so the HVAC system won’t need to work as hard. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, installing such windows throughout a home can save $101-$583 per year when replacing single-pane windows, or $27-$197 per year when replacing double-pane windows.
Other partner organizations behind Energy Efficiency Day include Michigan EIBC national associate member and partner Advanced Energy Economy. Click here to see other organizations involved and find out what yours can do to keep amplifying the efficiency message.  

Less Than Two Weeks From Energy Storage Convening In-Person at Advanced Battery Concepts

On Oct. 18 the Institute for Energy Innovation and Michigan EIBC, with support from the Michigan Department of Great Lakes, Environment and Energy (EGLE) and Michigan EIBC member Advanced Battery Concepts, are presenting the 4th Energy Storage Convening, an in-person event to be held at Advanced Battery Concepts’ facility in Clare, Mich. Advanced Battery Concepts recently announced the launch of a new addition to the microgrid storage market, the Home Emergency Energy Storage project, which will provide homeowners and small commercial business owners with emergency power.

This event will focus on the reuse and recycling of energy storage technologies and participants will discuss how policymakers and businesses can best pursue second-life opportunities for battery technologies to keep both costs and environmental impact down. Opening remarks will come from Michigan State University Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Dr. Annick Anctil, a leading researcher in life cycle analysis and waste for energy technologies. An industry panel including Advanced Battery Concepts CEO Ed Shaffer and Renewance COO Tom Newell will discuss economic and technical aspects of the reuse and recycling of batteries.

In addition to the topical discussion, the event will include a tour of the facility and a boxed lunch. Click here to RSVP (at no cost).  


Renewing Members

Christman Company

Christman is a self perform builder, construction manager, and general contractor, in business for over 120 years, based in Michigan and with a footprint in the mid-south region. With average revenue around $800M, and a diverse, talented group of professionals, our capabilities fit for a broad range of project types and size.  

Climax Solar

Climax Solar is the pinnacle of solar power. We provide world class service to bring you the best products in the solar industry. We are here to help you with all of your solar needs.


Powerhome is an American company, headquartered in Mooresville, North Carolina that specializes in solar energy and roofing services. We were founded in 2006 as Rescomm and in 2014 made the decision to rebrand ourselves as Powerhome Solar & Roofing. This change reflected our vision and the direction we wanted to take the company. That direction has helped us grow our company to consist of over 100 passionate employees and still counting. We have also grown outside of North Carolina and currently operate in South Carolina as well as Michigan. In 2015 and 2016, Solar Power World magazine listed Powerhome as the No. 7 overall solar installation company in the U.S. We are also very excited that in 2016; We installed more solar energy systems than any other company in North and South Carolina. Our strong growth is consistent with our vision to innovate both in how we operate our company and the level of service we offer our customers. This means that we are one of the few companies that do “everything.” Among our primary services, the company designs, permits, finances, sells, installs, maintains and monitors solar energy systems and panels for residential, commercial, utility, and government applications. We also sell, design, and install full roof applications for commercial and residential clients.


Our Mission
To connect the smart grid to the smart home with the only utility led Home Energy Management Solution developed for utilities worldwide.
Our Story
We have created a connection to the home that nobody else has. Powerley provides a real-time window into energy usage – for your home and for every connected appliance and device within it. By developing a constant connection with your energy, we have created an entirely new connected home experience.
You don’t need ten different apps for every connected bulb, switch, appliance and camera in your home. You only need one – the one that allows you to manage your energy and your home. Via Powerley, all your smart devices work harmoniously together to deliver a personalized experience that is enriched with true energy insight.
Bridging the smart home to the smart grid is no small feat. Our solution was built hand-in-hand with energy utilities, the industry that powers our daily lives – stretching from energy plants to the light bulbs in your home. Through the utilities, your home is already connected. Powerley just adds the extra ingredients to make it intelligent.

Prime Energy C.S.

Prime Energy C.S. was founded in 2015 to offer clients applied engineering disciplines for common technologies related to battery and energy storage systems. Specifically, the company designs custom energy storage products and systems for various high-tech clients in need of unique energy storage solutions. These services and customizations include solid state metal joining, cell design principles, thermal management, mechanized pilot assembly, prototyping and systems integration.
Prime Energy C.S. manufactures and distributes Lithium Battery Modules designed for industrial and commercial applications. THe Modular Energy Cube (MEC) incorporates a reduced part count, redundant power bus connections and low cost manufacturing overhead Additionally, each system is designed and priced to the needs of the client.


Michigan Energy News

  • President Biden visits Howell and the local International Union of Operating Engineers chapter to talk about the Build Back Better plan.
  • DTE says its solar project in Washtenaw County that will be used by the city of Ann Arbor and Pittsfield Township as a source of renewable energy will be operational in 2023.
  • A deal between GM and North Carolina-based silicon carbide power device supplier Wolfspeed will allow GM EVs to charge faster and have a longer range, according to the automaker.
  • Consumers Energy parent CMS Energy gets $1 billion from the sale of a lending company it owned and says it will use the proceeds to fund the utility’s infrastructure.
  • The city of Kalamazoo and Consumers Energy have created a voluntary energy benchmarking program for large energy users called the Kalamazoo Energy Collaborative.
  • Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder writes his thoughts on how Michigan can better compete with other states for economic development.

National Energy News

  • Low-carbon hydrogen needs $1.2 trillion in global investment over the next several decades for it to grow to be a big enough source of energy to help the world achieve net zero emissions by 2050, according to a report from the International Energy Agency.
  • Xcel Energy had to cut the size of a massive wind farm in South Dakota by 100 MW due to lack of transmission capacity
  • Google is offering Nest users the ability to use their devices to purchase renewable energy.
  • A ramp-up in polysilicon prices is causing solar projects to delay construction.
  • The inclusion of tax credits for carbon capture in the Clean Electricity Performance Plan could help keep coal-fired power plants online.
  • Toronto-based lithium-ion battery recycling company Li-Cycle gets a $100 million investment from a subsidiary of Koch Industries.


Job Board

We are debuting a new section of the newsletter for Michigan EIBC members to post job openings in advanced energy fields. 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 Please include in the email a specific end date for the job posting.

Energy Sciences

Position: Senior Retro-Commissioning Engineer, Metro Detroit

“As a senior retro-commissioning engineer with Energy Sciences, you will join our team of degreed and licensed engineers, scientists, and energy efficiency professionals to meet the energy use challenges of commercial and industrial facilities. We’re looking for experienced and talented technical team members to assist our clients, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, in making their building systems work, identifying energy-savings opportunities, reducing waste, and saving operating cost. You will play a key role in a growing company that is dedicated to driving our vision of a sustainable and socially responsible energy future, working in an exciting, collaborative environment.”  

Inovateus Solar

Positions: Construction Manager, Business Development Manager, Design Engineer, South Bend, IN

Inovateus Solar is hiring for several positions in South Bend. Check out the company’s LinkedIn page for more information.

Michigan Saves

Position: Director of Clean Energy Financing

The director of clean energy financing will support the Michigan Saves program, a clean energy financing nonprofit staffed by Public Sector Consultants. Michigan Saves addresses financing gaps to ensure that everyone — no exceptions — has access to the benefits of clean energy. Applications are due Oct. 17.

NOVI Energy

Position: Project Engineer, Novi, MI

NOVI Energy is growing, and they need your help. This month, they announced a joint venture with Osaka Gas USA to develop over 1000 MW of solar power generation facilities, enough solar and storage to power more than 150,000 homes with clean, affordable energy while creating good-paying jobs. This is one of several exciting projects NOVI Energy is developing! Learn more about their company and available Project Engineer positions. See open positions here.  

Michigan and National Energy Events

On Oct. 18 the Institute for Energy Innovation and Michigan EIBC, with support from the Michigan Department of Great Lakes, Environment and Energy (EGLE) and Michigan EIBC member Advanced Battery Concepts, are presenting the 4th Energy Storage Convening, an in-person event to be held at Advanced Battery Concepts’ facility in Clare, Mich. RSVP (at no cost) here.

The Distributed Wind Energy Association’s DIstributed Wind 2021 Conference and Lobby Day in Arlington, Va., has been postponed to Nov. 15-18. Tickets can be purchased for in-person attendance or virtual attendance

The U.S. Energy Storage Association Annual Conference & Expo (#ESACon21) will convene December 1-3 in Phoenix to bring together buyers, sellers, investors, and leaders in the energy storage industry for an event focused on driving deals and business in the energy storage industry. The #ESACon21 is a must attend for anyone looking to expand their business, invest in, or develop partnerships in the energy storage industry. Learn more hereRegister using this link and use code “MIEIBC2021” for a 5% discount on nonmember passes.

Gov. Whitmer created the Council on Climate Solutions as an advisory body to help formulate and implement the MI Healthy Climate Plan. The council is holding a series of meetings throughout the year on various topics related to cutting Michigan’s CO2 emissions and recommending solutions for communities disproportionately affected by climate change. Go to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Office of Climate and Energy website to learn how to join these meetings.  


Michigan EIBC member Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University is now accepting applications for its C3 Accelerator. Apply here by Jan. 10, 2022. C3 is a growth stage Accelerator with up to $1.6M in funding in the form of grants, investments, and services to support the product development and scaling of Cleantech, Climatech, and Circular Economy technologies.

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: 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

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 to find out more information including how a building can apply.