- 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:
Interconnection Queues Are Getting Longer for Renewable Energy Projects, Study Says
While a record 671 GW of wind and solar power are in the process of being connected to the grid around the country, it is taking longer for projects to be interconnected, according to a new survey of interconnection queues by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).
“The trends clearly indicate that a lot of this capacity is really struggling to connect to the transmission grid,” Joe Rand, LBNL senior scientific engineering associate, said in an interview with Canary Media. “Transmission is needed, and transmission interconnection reform may also be needed, to unlock all this capacity in the queues.”
LBNL surveyed queues in PJM, the New York ISO, the California ISO and ISO New England and found that the median wait time from interconnection request to commercial operations has increased from 1.9 years to around 3.5 years in the past decade. Parts of southwest Michigan served by the utility Indiana Michigan Power are part of PJM. The study also considered the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), whose territory includes most of Michigan. In MISO, along with the four other grid operators surveyed, just 19% of wind projects and 16% of solar projects achieved commercial operations, compared to 24% for projects overall, LBNL found.
Michigan EIBC has identified approaches to interconnection regulation that can speed up the process, and, as Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman wrote about in a Renewable Energy World article last fall, we have recommended to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) that these changes be made in the MPSC’s ongoing process to revise its interconnection procedures. Last year, the MPSC submitted draft revised rules to the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules, whose approval is needed for the next step, which is an order from the commission requesting comments. We will keep you all posted on the latest developments.
Powerley Launches New App for Advanced Rate Management
Michigan EIBC member Powerley has just released a new app that analyzes complex rates like those that vary by time or season and gives users instant advice on how to maximize energy savings at a given time. The app provides a “global first,” according to the company—it combines “customer-specific energy pricing, direct from the energy company, with household energy data to provide just-in-time rate advice.”
Michigan has supported time-of-use (TOU) rates in its policy priority platform because they significantly enhance the value of advanced energy technologies and approaches like demand response, electric vehicle-to-grid services and distributed generation. The new Powerley app aims to help customers navigate TOU rates so they can better understand them and know when and how to shift their energy use.
“By making complex rates easy to understand and manage, energy companies benefit from higher enrollment and deeper engagement—shifting peak demand and driving decarbonization while also increasing customer satisfaction,” Powerley says.
Powerley offers the app to participating utilities who then brand the app and offer it to customers through the Apple and Google Play app stores. DTE now uses the app, and more utilities will be announced soon, Powerley says.
June 15 Energy Storage Convening To Examine Multi-Faceted Role For Storage in Changing Regulatory Environment
Michigan EIBC’s next virtual Energy Storage Convening, scheduled for June 15 from 9 am to 11 am, will kick off with MPSC Commissioner Katherine Peretick setting the stage for the discussion of the role energy storage can play in the grid, especially given the pending implementation of regulatory changes that are creating market opportunities where there were not before. Michigan EIBC has been calling for the MPSC to ensure that energy storage projects can live up to their full potential and provide multiple services with multiple value streams.
Commissioner Peretick has a unique perspective on the multi-faceted role of storage due to her previous work designing energy storage projects, from battery projects to novel types of storage like compressed air projects.
Also speaking at the convening is Sarah Martz of Alliant Energy. Alliant, based in Madison, Wisc., has been pursuing innovative energy storage projects, including a battery storage project to support increasing amounts of customer-sited renewables in Decorah, Iowa.
The meeting is sponsored by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE).
Cloudbreak Energy Partners is a Colorado-based solar development firm focused on accelerating the renewable energy economy through the development of community, commercial, and small-scale utility solar projects. We work to maximize the economic benefits to landowners, business owners, and investors via solar energy and storage systems. Our community-first approach creates long-term value for all project stakeholders and community members, ensuring that the benefits of the renewable energy future are widespread.
Dunamis Clean Energy Partners, founded in 2012, is a woman owned MBE certified, full service multi-million-dollar energy consulting firm specializing in green energy and environmental solutions. Dunamis serves commercial, industrial, and municipal clients, both domestically and internationally. We are dedicated to becoming the global leader in four energy sectors: Horticulture, Lighting, EV-Charging and Environmental.
Jupiter Power is a utility-scale energy storage company that uses novel applications of cutting-edge energy storage technologies to better serve today’s electricity business. Jupiter is backed by leading energy investors EnCap Investments L.P., Yorktown Partners and Mercuria Energy and has offices in Austin, Texas and Chicago, Illinois. The company is currently developing more than 10GW of storage projects for construction over 2022-2026 in the most promising United States markets, with a particular focus on Texas, the eastern seaboard, California and the midcontinent.
We are a passionate group of advocates working to protect and enhance what makes this place so special. For us, that’s our lively towns and cities, our clean water, our farm and forest landscape, and the spirit of community that ties us all together. We build partnerships, raise awareness, and do our best to support what we see as an exciting community resilience movement that is gaining traction in Michigan. While our committed staff works hard to advance our pro-environment, pro-economy mission, our strength comes from the support, partnership, and involvement of thousands of people who share a sense of optimism that the effort we put forward today will lay the groundwork for a brighter future.
Clarke Energy is a multinational specialist in the engineering, installation and maintenance of reciprocating engine-based power plants. Our offering ranges from the supply of an engine-generator, through to the turn-key installation of a multi-engine power plant. Our systems deliver fuel efficiency and help reduce carbon emissions. Applications include combined heat and power (CHP) with natural gas, biogas, landfill gas and coal gas power generation. We are the largest authorized distributor and service provider for INNIO Jenbacher reciprocating engines.
The company’s focus is on delivering quality installations, backed up with reliable, accountable aftersales support. We have a culture of integrity and high ethical standards. Clarke Energy has a dedicated, highly trained team of sales, engineering, project management, commissioning and maintenance staff deployed around the world.
Located in the Village of Copemish, Contractors Building Supply, Inc. has been in the renewable energy business for nearly 40 years. We have a qualified team to meet all your renewable energy needs. From design and installation to energy assessing and consulting, CBS Solar is here to help you save money on your electric bill. From the smallest system for your home to the largest system for your business, CBS Solar has the experience and knowledge to do the job right!
Pine Gate Renewables is a U.S.-based developer, owner and operator of utility-scale solar farms. Pine Gate owns and operates 250 MW around the country and has a development pipeline of 800+ MW. Based in Charlotte, NC with an office in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, Pine Gate Renewables’ mission of providing locally generated renewable solar power for communities nationwide is centered on utility-scale sites from 2 – 100+ MW. The company specializes in land origination, project development, project financing and asset management. Pine Gate Renewables is committed to the broad transformation of our nation’s energy model by making community-based solar an option for everyone.
Michigan Energy News
- Michigan EIBC member Circle Power and Amber Infrastructure Group announce Circle Power Renewables, an expansion of their existing joint venture, that will focus on solar, wind and battery projects in Michigan and other regional markets.
- State legislators are debating a bill that would stop local governments from crafting and enforcing ordinances that prohibit natural gas in buildings.
- U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and several environmental justice groups hold a rally at a community solar project in Highland Park in support of the THRIVE Act, proposed legislation that aims to create millions of “green” urban jobs.
- The MPSC approves a settlement agreement allowing for the acquisition of Upper Peninsula Power Co. by an investment firm.
- The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) awards nearly half a million dollars in grants for various energy efficiency and solar projects around the state.
- A new coalition, the Sustainable Business Network of Detroit, is creating a platform for collaboration on sustainable business practices.
National Energy News
- Ford says that EVs will make up 40% of its global sales by 2030.
- The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) says its 2021 Summer Reliability Assessment shows an “elevated risk” of energy emergencies.
- The U.S. Department of Energy is stepping up research projects aimed at extracting rare earth minerals from coal ash so the minerals can be used for renewable energy and electric vehicles.
- The California Public Utilities Commission proposes replacing the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant with 11.5 GW of carbon-free resources, with the possibility that some of the capacity may include natural gas-fired power plants.
- The Biden administration and the state of California say they want to lease waters off the state for potential wind projects, but some are doubtful that any offshore wind projects there will be operational in the next decade.
Michigan and National Energy Events
Michigan EIBC’s next Storage Convening, on Distribution and Transmission Applications of Storage, is on June 15 and free registration is available here.
The SEIA Finance & Tax Seminar is back this year on June 24 with both in-person and virtual elements that connect hundreds of tax, finance, business, and legal leaders for an in-depth look at solar financing trends. Register here.
The 25th Michigan Energy Providers Conference 2021 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island from July 29-30 will provide a unique perspective of the future of energy and related policy needs in Michigan, and offer an opportunity to build relationships with others in the industry. CDC guidelines will be followed and all proper protocols will be taken to ensure a safe event. Conference registration will open soon.
The PlugVolt Battery Seminar 2021 in Plymouth, Mich., has been postponed from July to the new dates of Oct. 5-7. The conference will feature “technical tutorials on fundamental materials’ challenges for electrochemical energy storage, opportunities and challenges with solid-state batteries, best design practices for cell engineering, battery modeling and health monitoring, second life design considerations for energy storage, etc.,” as well as a tour of A123 Systems in Novi. Registration is open here. 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 here. 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.
Centrepolis is launching its new C3 Accelerator, funded in part by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, New Economy Initiative and the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator. The accelerator will offer a total pool of $275,000 in funding including grants, equity-free interest-free investments, and services to support product development and scaling of cleantech, climatech, and circular economy technologies. A portion of these investments will be dedicated to support ventures led by women, people of color, veterans and other underrepresented entrepreneurs. Applications are due May 31, and can be submitted through this link. 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.