- Newsletter (315)
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:
Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist to Keynote 9th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala
Michigan EIBC is thrilled to announce that Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist will be the keynote speaker for our 9th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala on September 14, 2021 at The Eastern, Detroit, MI.
We’re honored to have the Lieutenant Governor join us to celebrate the successes and vital work we do in the advanced energy industry.
Tickets are available here. RSVP soon as we expect this event to sell out.
During the gala, we celebrate the individuals and businesses who have worked to grow Michigan’s advanced energy sector in 2021. Advanced energy business leaders and experts, legislators, state and local government officials, and other key decision-makers will be in attendance, and attendees will get to enjoy amazing food from Detroit area food trucks, good company and networking at this premiere outdoor/indoor event!
We invite you to sponsor this event. Sponsorship at the Gigawatt & Megawatt levels includes tickets to attend our VIP Cocktail Reception with Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist and other VIP guests. For sponsorship opportunities and benefits, click here or contact Brianna Gerard, Director of Membership and Events at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LT. GOVERNOR GARLIN GILCHRIST II
Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist has dedicated his career to solving problems. An engineer by training, he uses thoughtful innovation, progressive reform, and efficient modernization of policies and programs to make the work better for hardworking families. From spearheading campaigns for equality and justice to harnessing technology to solve real problems, his focus has consistently remained on serving the public and getting things done.
As part of the Whitmer Administration, Lt. Governor Gilchrist has sought to address injustice and inequality across our state at every level, his approach to addressing disparities is deeply rooted in fact-based practices, science, and connecting with individuals across Michigan.
The Watt Level
Form Energy: Long-Duration Storage From Abundant Domestic Materials Here At Last?
Startup Michigan EIBC member Form Energy announced that its iron-air battery technology can provide storage for up to 100 hours at per-MWh prices competitive with natural gas-fired power plants, and quickly became the biggest talk of the storage industry right now. The science behind the technology is simple: essentially, it is rusting in reverse, as the startup puts it. The battery charges itself by using an electrical current to convert rust to iron, producing oxygen in the process. The battery then “breathes in” oxygen that converts iron to rust, discharging electricity in the process.
As some observers have pointed out, there have been many other cases of hyped batteries that ended up fizzling out, including previous iron-air batteries. But the skeptics will not have to wait long to see the results, as Form Energy has announced a utility-scale pilot to demonstrate its technology at a project that will serve Minnesota utility Great River Energy.
One promising aspect of Form Energy’s approach is that, if successful, it would have a strong domestic manufacturing base. “We make a ton of [iron],” Form Energy CEO and co-founder Mateo Jaramillo said in a recent interview. “We make a lot of steel. And that’s one reason why we chose that element. It is something that can be made right here in this market at tremendous scale using existing processes today. The steel industry is the largest battery anode manufacturer in the world, they just didn’t know it.”
As part of its work on an energy storage roadmap for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), Michigan EIBC and the Institute for Energy Innovation are involved in identifying ways to grow the energy storage industry and energy storage deployment in Michigan—for short-term, long-term, and mobile energy storage solutions. We will have more to announce about the results of that effort later this year. In addition, our next energy storage convening will be held in October.
New State Law Expands Efficiency Project Opportunities in Water Systems
You may have missed it, but earlier this year the Michigan legislature approved a new law that creates opportunities for energy efficiency contracting and renewable energy projects in waterworks and sewage treatment facilities.
Public Act 45 of 2021 was signed into law by Gov. Whitmer at the beginning of July. It allows assistance funds from the State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund to go toward projects that make governmental water systems more efficient. These include projects such as “replacement of lighting components, renewable energy, devices that reduce water consumption.”
The Cost-Effective Governmental Energy Use Act, passed nearly ten years ago, allows state and local governmental departments and agencies to enter into energy performance contracts with energy service providers to improve efficiency. Public Act 45 of 2021 will enable this same type of energy performance contracting for municipal energy efficiency and water savings projects that take advantage of the State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund at waterworks and sewer treatment facilities.
Michigan Energy News
- U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm visits Oakland County to meet with advanced mobility technology developers and discuss how to build up the domestic supply chain for EVs-.
- Consumers Energy begins operations of the 166-MW Crescent Wind project in Hillsdale County, developed by Michigan EIBC member Invenergy.
- For the first time in its history, Ford will spend more on EVs than it will on internal combustion engine vehicles in 2023.
- Michigan activist groups, with the support of U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), are calling for federal legislation to help utility customers get out from under debt.
- Without the right policies in place, shifting toward electrification in place of natural gas could lead to poor urban and rural areas shouldering the financial burden, according to a new report co-authored by the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy Associate Professor Catherine Hausman.
- The U.S. Department of Energy gives Western Michigan University a grant for research into ways to make the sensory systems on autonomous vehicles consume less energy, potentially increasing the range of electric autonomous vehicles.
National Energy News
- The U.S. power sector is halfway to net zero emissions, but the remaining reductions will be more difficult, experts say.
- The Detroit automakers and United Autoworkers declare support for President Biden’s national target of EVs making up 40% to 50% of all new vehicle sales by 2030.
- Developers of small modular nuclear reactors want to compete with natural gas-fired combined-cycle plants on cost, but some critics say they may suffer from the same economic problems as larger reactors.
- As home battery storage increases in popularity, storage providers are grappling with how much financial incentive they should offer customers.
- The Associated General Contractors of America launch a new initiative that calls for policies to encourage emissions reductions from the building sector as well as practices, like anti-idling policies for equipment and solar-powered construction trailers, to make contractors more energy-efficient.
- First Solar CEO Mark Widmar said that a new factory planned in Ohio will allow the company to “develop a new product at the intersection of efficiency, energy yield, optimized form factor, cost competitiveness and advantaged environmental attributes.”
*NEW* 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 email@example.com. Please include in the email a specific end date for the job posting.
Energy Sciences LLC
“As an energy 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 are looking for experienced and talented technical
team members to assist our clients, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, in
identifying energy-savings opportunities, reducing waste, and saving money. You will play a key entrepreneurial role on a team in an exciting, start-up environment that is dedicated to driving our vision of a sustainable and socially responsible energy future.”
Walker-Miller Energy Services
Position: Energy Advisor, Grand Rapids MI
“We provide our utility clients with a wide range of energy-saving and renewable energy solutions. From individual utility customers and construction contractors, to utilities, municipalities, and government bodies, our clients have come to depend on our customized energy efficiency programs to help them to meet their energy saving goals.
This Energy Advisor is primarily responsible for providing our services directly to landlords, building owners and other utility customers. You will provide expert advice and coordination for our programs while recommending specific modifications to electric and/or gas systems; you will also convince prospective clients of the improved efficiency that our services will bring. This role combines field work with office time (typically 3 field days to 2 office days per week). You will also be working with others who are passionate about energy efficiency and making a positive impact on the industry.”
Michigan and National Energy Events
Michigan EIBC’s 9th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala will be held in Detroit on Sept. 14. Buy tickets here.
The PlugVolt Battery Seminar 2021 in Plymouth, Mich., will feature an entire day of in-depth technical tutorials presented by world renowned professors from Top 50 US universities on Day 1, followed by Days 2 and 3 with industry subject matter experts presenting on Automotive and Stationary Storage applications respectively. Attendees will also get an exclusive opportunity to tour INTERTEK Battery Testing Center of Excellence in Plymouth, MI (USA). The seminar is scheduled for Oct. 5-7, and 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.
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
Consumers Energy Company is planning to seek competitive bids in response to a Request for Proposals (“RFP”) from participants in the MISO Energy Market in accordance with the Company’s Proposed Course of Action in its Integrated Resource Plan. Enel X North America, Inc. will administer the solicitation and anticipates formally releasing the upcoming RFP and associated documents late September 2021. Questions pertaining to this RFP or the proposal submittal process can be sent via email to Enel X by way of CECIA.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lansing Board of Water and Light will issue a Request for Information for electricity storage by the end of September. Vendors can register here.
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.