Michigan EIBC Newsletter: Consumers Energy IRP Settlement, CHP Opportunities 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:


Settlement Approved in Consumers Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan

On June 23, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) approved a settlement agreement governing Consumers Energy’s 20-year integrated resource plan (IRP), paving the way for the state’s second-largest electric utility to make progress on renewable energy procurement, energy storage procurement, coal retirements and its approach to combined heat and power (CHP), among other areas. The parties to the settlement included Michigan EIBC and the Institute for Energy Innovation (IEI).

The settlement includes several provisions that Michigan EIBC/IEI specifically worked on, such as:

  • The utility will hold a one-time solicitation that, in its second tranche, will seek intermittent resources and dispatchable, non-intermittent clean capacity resources, including battery storage resources. Consumers Energy’s IRP additionally calls for the deployment of 75 MW of storage by 2027 and 550 MW by 2040.
  • Consumers Energy agrees to extend the competitive bidding process that governs annual procurements of power resources. Contract term lengths will be 25 years and 50% of the capacity must come from power purchase agreements and other third-party agreements, ensuring that independent renewable energy project developers are able to fairly compete. Projects under 150 kW in capacity will receive full avoided cost rates.
  • The utility will survey its commercial and industrial customers to gauge interest in CHP. In its next IRP, Consumers Energy will use the results of this survey to include front-of-the-meter and behind-the-meter CHP in its modeling of resources that can meet its needs. The results of the survey will be publicly available in docket U-21090 within 360 days of the order approving the settlement.

The settlement also provides that the J.H. Campbell coal-fired plant will be closed by 2025.

Other parties to the settlement included Attorney General Dana Nessel, Michigan EIBC member Hemlock Semiconductor Operations, the Michigan Environmental Council, the Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups.



District Energy St. Paul’s facility in downtown St. Paul, Minn. Source.

Michigan’s Combined Heat and Power Sector is Primed for Federal Investment

A key opportunity for lowering industrial greenhouse gas emissions is the use of lower-carbon fuels, such as green hydrogen, in new and existing CHP systems. The existing network of CHP hosts in Michigan represents an ecosystem of commercial and industrial end users that have a proven track record of prioritizing and investing in sustainable, resilient technology applications. As state leaders look to shape project proposals in response to Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funding opportunities, such as the U.S. DOE’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program, the potential conversion of CHP systems toward lower-carbon fuels, such as green hydrogen, could represent the contingent of hydrogen off-takers needed for a successful hydrogen hubs application.

With this opportunity in mind, many CHP equipment suppliers and developers have begun to bet on a future for hydrogen-fueled CHP. Recently, Caterpillar Inc. announced a U.S. DOE-supported project with District Energy St. Paul in Minnesota to demonstrate a hydrogen-fueled CHP system. Additionally, Siemens is working with Duke Energy to develop a conceptual design of a 50-MWh hydrogen energy storage system for Clemson University.

Advances in hydrogen-fueled CHP come at an ideal time for Michigan, which is pursuing ambitious economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050. According to the MI Healthy Climate Plan, released in April of this year, “a key efficiency opportunity exists around CHP, which is a process that takes excess heat from an industrial process or facility and uses it to generate electricity. CHP is the most fuel-efficient way to produce and utilize both electric and thermal energy from a single fuel source.” The MI Healthy Climate Plan references the state’s 2018 CHP Roadmap for Michigan, “which recommended an optimal level of additional CHP deployment in Michigan ranging from 722 MW to 1,014 MW by 2030,” and proposes the deployment of CHP in new facilities, and the conversion of existing facilities, to renewable energy or lower-carbon fuels such as biogas, renewable natural gas or biomethane, and green hydrogen. 

Notably, CHP investments made now—which may rely at least in part on natural gas—can later be converted as technological capabilities to use hydrogen as other lower carbon fuels ramp up and costs come down. Such future flexibility is a key objective of the research component of the Clemson University hydrogen CHP project, which aims to optimally size, design and integrate a hydrogen energy storage system with an existing 15-MW gas turbine generator for various stages of decarbonization.

Importantly for the MI Healthy Climate Plan, which includes interim greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets as soon as 2030, industrial customers interested in hydrogen-fueled CHP can pursue systems that accept hydrogen blends today while maintaining the flexibility to cost-effectively reduce carbon emissions even more down the road. 

Save the Date! Michigan Energy Innovators Gala in Detroit on Sept. 28

The 10th Annual Energy Innovators Gala will be held on Sept. 28 at The Eastern in Detroit! We’re excited to celebrate the successes of the advanced energy industry during our annual awards dinner. Stay tuned for information about tickets and speakers.

Sponsorship opportunities are available! Please click here for more details and contact Brianna Gerard at brianna@mieibc.org with any questions.

Renewing Member


BioWorks Energy LLC

BioWorks Energy is a full-service wastewater engineering and operations group specializing in the use anaerobic digestion for the purposes of power production. BioWorks operates its own waste to energy system utilizing anaerobic digestion which provides first-hand knowledge of optimized operations. BioWorks Energy offers first in class services to deliver the highest return from operation of waste to energy facilities using anaerobic digestion. Whether it might be the initial planning stages or full scale operations, you can count on BioWorks Energy to be your partner every step of the way!


Michigan Energy News

  • The Consumers Energy IRP could become a model for other investor-owned utilities on how to move away from coal and toward renewables, Mike Berkowitz, Michigan Senior Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign, says.
  • Research that has supported the controversial inclusion of carbon capture in the California Air Resources Board’s scoping plan was funded by a grant linked to DTE Energy, which owns several plants in California, the Los Angeles Times reports.
  • Supporters of public power in Ann Arbor rally to oppose a potential nominee to the city’s Energy Commission.
  • The process in Michigan for instituting economic development utility rates to attract investment in the automotive industry differs from processes in other states.
  • A number of groups call for Michigan school districts to apply for electric school bus funding grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

National Energy News

  • David Strickland, vice president of global regulatory affairs at Michigan EIBC member GM, says it is “hugely important” that Congress modify the federal tax credit for EVs.
  • GM and Ford’s competition to beat Tesla in EV sales heats up.
  • California is leaving potential decarbonization actions “on the table,” such as accelerating electrification and increasing clean energy standards, according to a new report from Energy Innovation.
  • U.S. polysilicon manufacturing gets a boost in investment.
  • “Carbon farming” is taking off in California, although some question the emissions accounting practices for natural carbon sequestration.
  • “Geothermal micro districts,” which create a neighborhood of heat pumps connected to a common network of underground pipes, are needed to reduce emissions from home heating without shifting burdensome costs onto low-income customers, John Farrell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, writes.

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.


Position: Manager, Government Relations (MISO). Salt Lake City.

The Manager of Government Affairs will lead AESCE’s public policy efforts related to wind, solar, energy storage, green hydrogen, as well as other technologies as determined for key states in the central and western part of the U.S.. They will assist in the establishment of AESCE strategies, that align with laws, regulations, and policies where AESCE works. The Manager will also provide ongoing analysis and information to the development, strategic development, operations and commercial team for the identification of new market opportunities, response to new opportunities, and optimization of project assets.  Additionally, the Manager will identify potential policy changes or modifications that may benefit the business and collaborate with internal teams to develop a coordinated strategy.  A key function will be maintaining strong relationships with government officials, associated authorities, state agencies, committees, and other industry and partner organizations. This role will have a strong understanding of AESCE’s assets and products and be a capable communicator and team player.


Position: Manager, Stakeholder Relations (MISO & ERCOT). Indianapolis or Houston.

AES is actively developing a diverse renewable energy portfolio across the Midwest and Texas, and our development efforts require strong stakeholder relationships for our business to be successful. The Manager of Stakeholder Relations, MISO & ERCOT, will partner with cross-functional teams to execute project-specific and regional stakeholder relations strategies supporting business and project success.

Rhombus Energy Solutions

Position: Government Funding Manager. Dearborn, Mich.


  • Manage Rhombus Energy Solutions public funding opportunities from planning, proposal, submission, negotiation and project management.
  • Develop key contacts at national and local level to influence spending on infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and VW Consent Decree towards Rhombus Energy value propositions.
  • Identify pipeline of public funding opportunities for Rhombus Energy Solutions including federal, state, local DC Fast charging opportunities.
  • Respond to requests for quote (RFQ), requests for proposal (RFP) and requests for information (RFI) related to USDOT, USDOE national EV charging network. Craft abstracts and submission for public funding opportunities. Analyze and create budgets for funding opportunities including identifying cost shares and necessary resources to meet tender requirements.

Rhombus Energy Solutions

Position: Utility Account Manager. Dearborn, Mich.


  • Thorough knowledge of the market including the competitive landscape, articulates our key value propositions and differentiators to customers and influencers
  • Develops and maintain knowledge of relevant utility, state and federal requirements for EVSE and related infrastructure. Secures participation of Rhombus Energy Solutions into EVSE rebate programs. Influence utility program managers toward Rhombus Energy Solutions differentiators.
  • Document and understand funding opportunities and share within Rhombus, key customers, and distributors. Register Rhombus Energy Solutions across North American utility programs.
  • Engages frequently with partners, end users, electrical contractors, consulting engineers, OEMs, and other parties to support and drive growth of Rhombus Energy Solutions sales.

Michigan and National Energy Events

The Michigan Geothermal Energy Association and Michigan EIBC member Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University are holding a Commercial & Industrial Geothermal Convening on June 30 at Lansing Community College, West Campus. Register here.

On July 12-14, PlugVolt will be hosting its next Battery Seminar in Plymouth, MI (USA) featuring an entire day of in-depth technical tutorials on solid-state batteries, next-gen anodes and cathodes, battery diagnostics, failures, battery management systems, etc. by world renowned professors from Top 50 US Universities. 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.

The 10th Annual Energy Innovators Gala will be held on Sept. 28 at The Eastern in Detroit. Stay tuned for information about tickets and speakers.


The Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing FOA has a deadline of May 27 for letters of intent and July 1 for full applications.

Concept papers in response to the DOE’s Electric Drive Vehicle Battery Recycling & Second-Life Applications FOA are due May 31 and full applications are due July 19.

Michigan EIBC member Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University is accepting applications for its C3 Accelerator. Apply here by June 30. 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 “Guest 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.

Aaron Kurz, a former Michigan EIBC intern and University of Michigan alum, is working to build a state-level Science Policy Fellowship in Michigan, the Michigan Initiative for Science Policy (MISP). This program will place five recent STEM PhD recipients throughout the Michigan state government to provide a source of non-partisan, evidence-based information to decision makers. MISP will join the 10 other state programs throughout the country, including Idaho, Missouri, and New Jersey. Additional information about this initiative may be found at miscipol.org. If you are interested in providing written support for MISP, please contact Aaron at aaron.kurz@miscipol.org.