- 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:
MI Clean Future Proposes Major Investment into Michigan’s Clean Mobility Infrastructure
“One of the most important proposals to accelerate Michigan’s standing in advanced mobility technology came this week,” Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman writes in an article for Energy News Network. The proposal, from MI Clean Future coalition (of which Michigan EIBC is a member) would use $600 million from federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to build up Michigan’s competitive advantage in clean mobility.
This plan can be part of a bigger strategy to keep Michigan growing as a hub for advanced energy. In addition to the $600 million MI Clean Future proposal, “Michigan should respond to setbacks by using opportunities—like the funds from pending federal infrastructure and clean energy legislation—to build on the conditions that allowed the advanced energy industry to blossom here in the first place,” Sherman writes.
The MI Clean Future coalition consists of 27 businesses, nonprofits and other organizations.
Dr. Laura Sherman in Renewable Energy World on Hybrid Solar + Storage Resources
The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), the nonprofit organization that operates the grid in a large swath of North America including most of Michigan, is undergoing important changes to its rules and regulations that are expected to allow for more renewable energy and energy storage, as we have talked about in this space several times before.
Now, in a new article in Renewable Energy World, Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman does a deep dive into one of the latest trends to come out of these new opportunities: hybrid solar plus storage projects. Her article explains why there is so much interest in these projects, why they are so distinct, what has held them back in the Midwest, and why things are changing.
“Hybrid resources are a powerful alternative to natural gas,” Dr. Sherman writes. “A hybrid project can be available for power around-the-clock—providing electricity generated by wind and solar or discharged by the battery when the renewable energy is not available.”
Legislation to Remove Rooftop Solar Cap Still Critical
The bill to eliminate the cap on distributed generation in Michigan, an essential step to allow the rooftop solar industry to keep growing and give an increasing number of homes and businesses access to renewable energy, was the subject of a press conference organized by Michigan United on Monday.
Among the speakers was Rep. Greg Markkanen (R- Hancock), who introduced the bill, which would eliminate the cap on the amount of distributed generation that a utility must connect in its service territory, and Erica Larsen, sales engineer at Michigan EIBC member company The Green Panel. According to Larsen, “eliminating the DG cap would allow the continued development of renewable energy, will stabilize our energy independence, foster a growing job market and create a healthier environment for us all.”
During the event, Rep. Markkanen said that he believes the bill will have the votes to pass, as well as support from the governor’s office.
That’s why he said he’s “demanding that the cap be lifted, this bill, be brought to the committee for a vote and onto the floor.” Markkanen added, “I think the more public pressure the better.” Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor), also spoke at the event, stating that “along with the benefit to jobs and the environment, allowing more homeowners to generate power would improve reliability.”
Markkanen and Rabhi were co-recipients of the Legislator of the Year Award at this year’s Michigan Energy Innovators Gala.
Carbon Solutions LLC is an R&D start-up that works with industry, government, non-profits, researchers, and other stakeholders to identify and implement real-world solutions for low-carbon energy challenges. They conduct cutting-edge R&D in numerous projects involving CCS, energy storage, geothermal energy, wind energy, and the hydrogen economy.
Michigan Energy News
- The Michigan House Energy Committee holds a hearing about the Transmission Infrastructure Planning Act, a bill that has passed the state Senate.
- In the Detroit News, Michigan League of Conservation Voters Deputy Director Bob Allison calls for a moratorium on electric rate hikes until DTE and Consumers Energy are subject to independent investigation into poor electric reliability performance.
- Crain’s Detroit Business talks to John Kinch, executive director of Michigan EIBC member Michigan Energy Options, about the brewing conflict with the utilities over community solar.
- DTE is increasing its staffing to clear trees off power lines and take other steps to respond to power outages, the company’s CEO Jerry Norcia says in an earnings call.
- The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) approves an accounting measure that allows DTE to provide a refund of $70 million that will go toward tree trimming.
- Detroit is developing a new climate mitigation and adaptation strategy.
National Energy News
- The international companies that make up the United Nations’ Green Hydrogen Catapult coalition have increased their commitment for green hydrogen production by 2027 from 25 GW to 45 GW.
- The costs of solar are falling twice as fast as the costs of onshore wind, according to Lazard’s new levelized cost of electricity analysis.
- Campbell County, Wyo.,, the “epicenter of coal country,” is now attracting a different kind of development based around tourism, manufacturing and carbon capture technology.
- A big topic at COP26 concerns whether it is just for developing countries to have to borrow money at high interest rates to pay for repairs following natural disasters linked to climate change.
- U.S. Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.) are trying to get members of both parties to agree to a different kind of clean energy standard that would spread dollars to a wider range of technologies.
- Solar power is poised to surpass coal-fired power capacity in Ohio.
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.
“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.”
Foresight is hiring for these and other positions. Visit the Careers page here.
Inovateus Solar is hiring for several positions in South Bend. Check out the company’s LinkedIn page for more information.
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
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. Michigan EIBC members can register using code MIEIBC2021 for a 5% discount off nonmember passes. 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.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is accepting proposals for Rural Development Fund Grants. Proposals are due on Nov. 18. The U.S. Department of Energy has an opportunity for $105 million in funding for small businesses that are working to deploy clean energy technologies. “This funding opportunity is open to small businesses that have previously received SBIR or STTR grants to provide additional opportunities to compete for funding to develop working prototypes of their discoveries,” according to the DOE.
The Lansing Board of Water and Light has put out a Request for Information for Energy Storage. Responses are due Nov. 30. More information here.
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: 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.