- 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:
A Detailed Look at the Inflation Reduction Act’s Grants for State and Local Governments
The Inflation Reduction Act is already reshaping energy policy, but the complex bill touches on so many facets of our industry that it can be hard to keep track. In this newsletter we have already done detailed breakdowns of the IRA’s provisions when it comes to rebates and tax credits for electrification and energy efficiency. This week, in this ongoing series, we look at provisions that provide grants for state and local governments to fund a host of initiatives that will be transformative for advanced energy.
Section 50152: Grants to Facilitate the Siting of Interstate Electricity Transmission Lines
Through a new program, the Department of Energy is providing $760 million in grants for siting authorities, including state and local governments, to study and analyze transmission corridors. To receive funding, a siting authority must agree to make a final decision on the siting or permitting of the transmission project in question within two years of the grant.
Section 60101: Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles
This section authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to spend up to $600 million on grants to recipients including states or municipalities to replace vehicles (class 6 and 7) with zero-emission vehicles and related infrastructure. This funding is specifically for commercial vehicles classified as heavy-duty, such as 18-wheeler trucks.
Section 60103: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund
The law authorizes $7 billion in grants to recipients, including states, municipalities and nonprofits, to be used “to enable low-income and disadvantaged communities to deploy or benefit from zero-emission technologies, including distributed technologies on residential rooftops, and to carry out other greenhouse gas emission reduction activities,” according to the text of the IRA. Recipients are required to “prioritize investment in qualified projects that would otherwise lack access to financing.” It also authorizes $12 billion for technical assistance for projects that reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions, and another $8 billion for such projects specifically in low-income and disadvantaged communities.
The EPA has issued a Request for Information regarding the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund that is open until December 5.
Section 60106: Funding to Address Air Pollution at Schools
The EPA also has $37.5 million for efforts specifically related to air pollution at schools, as well as an additional $12.5 million for technical assistance for schools for plans to reduce emissions such as “standards for school building, design, construction, and renovation.”
Section 60114: Climate Pollution Reduction Grants
Over $4.75 billion is made available for grants to at least one eligible entity (such as the state government or air pollution control agency) in each state for a comprehensive plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Section 60201: Environmental and Climate Justice Block Grants
This section consists of $2.8 billion (plus $200 million in technical assistance) to fund partnerships between nonprofits and local governments for “community-led air and other pollution monitoring, prevention, and remediation, and investments in low- and zero-emission and resilient technologies and related infrastructure and workforce development that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants” and “mitigating climate and health risks from urban heat islands, extreme heat, wood heater emissions, and wildfire events.”
Clean Fuels Michigan, Michigan EIBC and Partners Identify Transportation Funding Priorities in Letter to Governor
Last Friday, Clean Fuels Michigan along with Michigan EIBC and other partners sent a letter to Governor Whitmer, Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist and Michigan Budget Director Chris Harkins praising the administration for its support of clean transportation solutions and recommending several other steps that would lead to further growth of clean transportation industries in the state. The letter was co-signed by executives of 26 organizations and businesses, including Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman.
Efforts like the $130 million appropriation for the University of Michigan’s Michigan Electric Vehicle Center and $20 million for the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification’s Mobility Future Initiative “will catalyze growth in the industry and support job creation,” the letter said. “Still, we know there is more to be done to keep Michigan at the forefront of this rapidly changing industry. As the state that put the world on wheels, we need bold, equitable, and cohesive state investments to bring sustained tailwinds to clean mobility in Michigan and across the nation.”
The letter recommended further investments like:
- $70 million in incentives for transit and school buses and heavy-duty vehicles to transition to cleaner models
- A $50 million rebate program for EVs, as well as at-home EV chargers
- $55 million to help Michigan communities more competitively bid for the limited federal funds for public commercial and community charging
- $25 million to help electrify state and municipal fleets
“We urge you to prioritize these investments during supplemental budget negotiations and for the Fiscal Year 2024 budget,” the letter said.
DTE Files New Integrated Resource Plan
DTE Energy has filed its latest integrated resource plan (IRP; Case No. U-21193) with the Michigan Public Service Commission, laying out a long-term vision for how it will meet the power supply requirements in its service territory. In a statement, DTE said the plan, which includes $9 billion invested over the next 10 years, “increases investment in solar and wind energy, accelerates the retirement of coal plants, and includes the development of new energy storage—all reinforcing DTE’s commitment to cleaner energy.”
Michigan EIBC will be analyzing this proposed IRP closely and participating in the case. Michigan EIBC and other groups were critical of DTE’s last IRP filing in 2019. Because of unrealistically high assumptions for the costs of renewable energy and artificial limitations on the renewable energy and demand-side resources, that IRP did not maximize the amount of advanced energy investment that would be beneficial for DTE customers.
Details of the proposed IRP include:
- From 2023 to 2027, adding 800 MW of solar and 240 MW of battery storage, converting the Belle River coal-fired plant to a natural gas-fired peaking plant and investing in conservation voltage reduction/volt-var optimization (CVR/VVO) to cut energy waste and reduce demand by 15 MW.
- From 2028 to 2032, adding 3,600 MW of solar, 1,000 MW of wind and 520 MW of battery storage and saving an incremental 23 MW of demand from CVR/VVO efforts.
- From 2032 to 2042, adding 2,100 MW of solar, 7,900 MW of wind and 1,050 MW of battery storage and retiring the Belle River peaker plant by 2040. The model indicates that an additional 950 MW power plant will be needed and uses a natural gas-fired plant with carbon capture and sequestration as a proxy.
Michigan Energy News
- Montcalm County is ground zero in Michigan for disputes over wind project development, Bridge Michigan reports.
- The Michigan Housing Opportunities Promoting Energy Efficiency (MI-HOPE) program is now accepting applications from local governments and nonprofit organizations for grants for energy efficiency-focused housing repairs and upgrades.
- The planned EV battery manufacturing plant in Big Rapids must find skilled labor to fill the over 2,000 proposed jobs it will bring to the region.
- The heads of Consumers Energy and DTE tell investors that the Inflation Reduction Act will make it easier for them to transition toward more renewable energy.
- Forecasts for an unseasonably cold, snowy winter in the Midwest, including Michigan, have utilities expecting customer heating costs to rise sharply.
- Michigan Tech is sending a delegation to the UN Climate Change Summit, including a graduate who will present research on pumped underground storage hydro.
National Energy News
- The backlog of delayed renewable energy projects keeps growing to 36 GW, most of that solar, in the third quarter, according to a new report from American Clean Power.
- T. Rowe Price Group subsidiary Oak Hill Advisors leads a consortium to pay $1.8 billion for 1.7 million acres of timberland over 17 eastern states with a plan to reduce logging and instead maximize carbon stored in trees for offsets.
- Michigan EIBC member Sunrun is developing a 17-MW network of solar panels and batteries in Puerto Rico that would be the first virtual power plant for the island.
- PG&E formally asks for federal approval to operate the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, previously slated to be retired, through at least 2030.
- Ford is adding a 4-MW lithium-ion battery storage installation to its Essex Engine Plant in Windsor, Ontario.
- About a third of households that installed rooftop solar in 2021 had incomes between $50,000 and $100,000, according to a new report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
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.
Madison Energy Investments
Madison Energy Investments is a high-growth, PE-backed renewable energy company with investments in Solar, Battery and Electric Vehicle infrastructure.Madison is seeking a full-time Finance Analyst to work on our renewable energy investments. Candidates should have a passion for systematically managing cash flows of a business, general knowledge of accounting principles and ability to work cross functionally with team members in Sales, Accounting and Operations.
Michigan and National Energy Events
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is holding national public listening sessions regarding the implementation of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which will provide competitive grants to mobilize financing and leverage private capital for clean energy and climate projects, particularly in low-income communities, including a session on Nov. 9. Register for these online events here.
Michigan EIBC and the American Association of Blacks In Energy (AABE) invites Michigan EIBC members only to a networking event at Walker-Miller Energy Services in Detroit on Nov. 15. Please reach out to Brianna Gerard to register.
The MPSC is holding an energy assistance fair in Melvindale on Nov. 17.
The MPSC has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for Low-Carbon Energy Infrastructure Enhancement and Development Grants. Public Act 53 and Public Act 166 of 2022, approved by the Michigan Legislature and signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, provide for a combined $50 million in grants for businesses, nonprofit organizations and local governments to develop, acquire or build low-carbon energy facilities that may include natural gas, combined heat and power or renewable natural gas facilities as well as electrification programs. The RFP can be found on the Low Carbon EIED Grants webpage, which also includes a detailed timeline for submitting applications and opportunities to seek clarification on the RFP in October and November. Potential applicants may submit clarifying questions on the RFP in two rounds, first by Oct. 21, 2022, with responses due by Nov. 4, and second by Nov. 11, with responses due by Nov. 23.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development has released its guidelines for 2023 Rural Development Fund grants, which aim “to promote the sustainability of land-based industries and support infrastructure that benefits rural communities.” Proposals are due by Nov. 22.
The U.S. Department of Energy intends to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement that supports the implementation of Section 40541 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which provides $500 million for grants for energy improvements at public school facilities. Applications close Nov. 28.
Consumers Energy will host a pre-release conference call for its Solar Generation RFP on Nov. 8. Register for that call here, and find additional details about this RFP, planned for release on Dec. 8, here.
The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) is soliciting an all-source Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking competitive proposals to supply up to 475 MW firm capacity to meet customer loads into the future and to meet the planning reserve requirements of the Mid-Continent Independent System Operator (MISO). RFP offers are due on Jan. 13, 2023. Registration to participate in this RFP is 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.