Michigan EIBC Newsletter: Article on Community Solar 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:


DTE’s Integrated Resource Plan Should Include More Renewables, Storage and Demand Response

DTE Energy’s long-range integrated resource plan (IRP) could save its customers money by including more competitive procurements of renewable energy, energy storage and demand response and incentives for distributed generation, Michigan EIBC, the Institute for Energy Innovation, Advanced Energy United and the Clean Grid Alliance argued in testimony recently filed with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC).

Economic modeling from the expert witness testimony supported by those groups shows that DTE’s IRP is not the lowest-cost portfolio to meet the utility’s future power supply needs. Among other issues, DTE put in place arbitrary restrictions on the amount of renewable energy that its model would select, did not fully include the new federal tax credits and did not fully include the benefits of energy storage. Correcting for those problems results in a plan with a significant amount of additional renewable and energy storage resources over what DTE is proposing: an additional 600 MW of wind from 2026 to 2032, an additional 1,600 MW of solar from 2025 to 2034 and an additional 480 MW of battery storage by 2027, followed by another 1,680 MW of battery storage by 2032.

To create the best deal for DTE ratepayers, these power resources must be procured in an open and competitive process that abides by standards that prevent the utility from favoring certain resources over others. In her testimony, Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman expressed concerns that DTE had not committed to those kinds of standards with this IRP. In the past, DTE has issued requests for proposals that did not include an independent administrator, leading to DTE self-built projects being favored in those procurements. “It is imperative that the Commission implement safeguards moving forward to prevent similar future results and ensure all procurements are truly open and fair to all sources eligible to qualify and provide the services to be procured,” Dr. Sherman’s testimony said.

DTE’s IRP also failed to consider opportunities for innovative demand response options like those that will be made possible by a recent MPSC order that partially lifted the prohibition on demand response aggregation resources to participate in wholesale electricity markets. “DR aggregators are uniquely qualified to seek out customers and provide innovative solutions. The order to partially lift the DR ban will also increase competition among DR providers and should therefore drive down costs, which would further increase the DR market beyond what DTE considered,” Advanced Energy United Managing Director Ryan Katofsky wrote in his testimony.


Read Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman in Renewable Energy World On Community Solar

Last week, bills that would provide a path forward for more community solar development were introduced to the Michigan legislature.

The need for reforming the laws around community solar is urgent, Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman writes in a new piece in Renewable Energy World. “Solar power is on the precipice of a major transformation,” she writes, with billions of dollars in grants created by the Inflation Reduction Act to soon be distributed to community solar projects around the country by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Michigan could lose out on that investment because it does not require utilities to cooperate with third-party owned community solar projects that allow participants to cut their electric bills through virtual metering, among other problems with the status of community solar.

“We need to change the law to allow more access to affordable community solar projects located in communities across Michigan,” Dr. Sherman writes.

Read the whole piece here.

Register for the 11th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Conference on April 26

Tickets are available for the 11th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Conference at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing on April 26! 

This full-day conference—our most popular event of the year—provides attendees an opportunity to network, learn about innovations in advanced energy, and get an overview on the latest policy developments. This event includes: main-stage panels, multiple break-out panels with dozens of expert panelists, presentations from industry experts, and networking.

The keynote speaker will be Maeve Stropf, Manager of Carbon Strategy and Sustainability Customer Engagement at Steelcase Inc. Maeve leads the team responsible for the company’s carbon strategy development and implementation which includes maintaining carbon neutrality, progressing against ambitious science-based greenhouse gas emissions targets, and encouraging suppliers to set their own science-based targets. Relatedly, Maeve leads government affairs work in subject areas of climate, energy, and renewable energy in the State of Michigan and at the federal level in the US. She is also responsible for energy procurement in restructured power markets and global renewable energy procurement, and corporate reporting of energy and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to these responsibilities, Maeve manages the Sustainability Customer Engagement team for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa market.

This full-day conference—our most popular event of the year—provides attendees an opportunity to network, learn about innovations in advanced energy, and get an overview on the latest policy developments. This event includes: main-stage panels, multiple break-out panels with dozens of expert panelists, presentations from industry experts, and networking.

We also invite you to become a sponsor of Michigan EIBC’s Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Conference! Sponsors will benefit from networking with advanced energy industry leaders and experts. For information on sponsorship opportunities and benefits, please click here or contact Brianna Gerard at brianna@mieibc.org.

Thank You To Our Sponsors!






Michigan Energy News

National Energy News

  • Over 4,000 comments have been submitted to the U.S. Treasury Department requesting clarification about qualifications for clean energy tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act. 
  • Idaho Power begins construction on what will be its state’s first utility-scale energy storage systems. 
  • HOAs often stand in the way of rooftop solar arrays in Wisconsin, despite the state’s “solar rights” law that prevents HOAs from legally banning rooftop solar.
  • Plug-in EV registrations increase 10% in January 2023 compared to a year ago. 
  • The health benefits of electric school buses include lower vibrations for students and drivers, according to Zum CEO Ritu Narayan. 
  • An Australian startup that is now entering the U.S. market offers hardware technology that measures and matches the output of a solar array on an apartment building to the individual apartment energy usage.

Job Board

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 matt@mieibc.org. Please include in the email a specific end date for the job posting.


Michigan Economic Development Corporation

SVP & Chief Mobility Officer. Location: Lansing or Detroit (Hybrid/Remote Option)

The Senior Vice President & Chief Mobility Officer is responsible for the development and execution of strategies, policies, goals and objectives as they relate to the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification as outlined in Executive Order 2020-1. The position provides strategic oversight for The Office’s goals of increasing mobility investment in Michigan, engaging more mobility startups, expanding Michigan’s smart infrastructure, accelerating electric vehicle adoption in Michigan, enabling Michigan’s mobility workforce, and bolstering Michigan’s mobility manufacturing core. This position serves as a key member of the MEDC and Michigan Department of Labor and Opportunity (LEO) leadership team to accomplish the strategic goals and objectives of the corporation. The deadline for response is Feb. 20, 2023.

Pivot Energy

Manager, Policy & Market Strategy. Location: Denver, Colo.

The Manager of Policy and Market Strategy (West) is at the forefront of distributed solar policy and will help guide the company’s development and advocacy strategies. Pivot operates nationwide, actively developing and owning commercial solar, community solar, small-utility and battery storage projects in more than a dozen states. We are also one of the leading low-income community solar providers. In an industry defined by regulation and legislation, it is an essential advantage to assess the impact of existing and new policies quickly and accurately, as well as to proactively shape policies where necessary. 


Michigan and National Energy Events

The MPSC will be holding a series of town hall meetings about the ice storm power outages in cities across the state on March 20

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has published a new analysis, “Shedding light on large-scale solar impacts: an analysis of property values and proximity to photovoltaics across six U.S. states.” The authors will be discussing the results of the study in a webinar on March 22Register here.

Registration is now open for the State of Michigan MI Healthy Climate Conference, which will be held at Huntington Place in Detroit on April 11-12.

Get tickets now for the Michigan Energy Innovators Conference at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing on April 26.

On July 18-20, PlugVolt will be hosting Battery Seminar 2023 in Plymouth, Mich., featuring an entire day of in-depth technical tutorials on cutting-edge battery research presented by industry subject matter experts and world renowned professors from Top 50 U.S. Universities. The next two days will include complementary industry updates provided by speakers from Automotive and Grid Storage OEMs, major battery manufacturers and global Tier 1 system developers and suppliers. Attendees will also get an exclusive opportunity to tour INTERTEK Battery Testing Center of Excellence in Plymouth, MI (USA) firsthand, ask questions to resident experts, and enjoy some light appetizers and beverages while networking with industry peers. Register here.

Save the dates Aug. 6-9 for the Mid-America Regulatory Conference (MARC) Annual Meeting at the JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids.


The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to expand the weatherization assistance program utilizing bipartisan infrastructure law funding for multi-family dwellings. The five-month award begins on May 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2023, with the total available amount being $1 million dollars. Successful applicants may be awarded funding annually through at least Sept. 30, 2028, based upon funding availability and acceptable performance. For more information or to apply, visit the EGrAMS website.

Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is developing a 2023 All-Source Request for Proposals (“2023 RFP”) which seeks to secure supply-side generation consistent with the preferred portfolio outlined in the 2021 Integrated Resource Plan. Consistent with this plan, I&M seeks a combination of Wind, Solar, Combustion Turbines, Storage, and Supplemental Capacity resources. As part of the 2023 RFP, I&M will make available a portion of the retiring Rockport Plant site for bidders to propose Combustion Turbine generation projects as well as Storage projects for participation in the RFP. Comments from stakeholders are due March 10.

The University of Michigan has issued a Proposed Request for Information and Qualification (RFI) Content for Onsite Solar Development. Interested parties may participate in a sourcing event that closes March 22.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is soliciting applications from agricultural producers and small businesses in eligible rural areas for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) which offers grants and guaranteed financing for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. There is a deadline of March 31 for applications for unrestricted grant funds. More information is available here.

DTE is issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) for 850 MW of new wind and solar projects, of which about 300 MW must be ready for commercial operation by March 31, 2025, and about 550 MW must be ready by March 31, 2026. Bids are due April 21.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Buildings Upgrade Prize (Buildings UP) is offering more than $22 million in cash prizes and technical assistance to teams across America with winning ideas to accelerate widespread, equitable energy efficiency and building electrification upgrades. Follow Buildings UP on HeroX.com for all prize-related updates. Phase 1 submissions are due by July 18.