- Newsletter (386)
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:
Michigan EIBC’s Justin Carpenter On The Outlook For Energy Policy In 2023
We talked to Michigan EIBC Director of Policy Justin Carpenter about the year ahead.
Q: What are you most excited about in 2023?
2023 is going to be an exciting year. I think there are a number of legislative reforms that will be on the table that are imperative to making Michigan ready for the future of energy – some of which Michigan EIBC has been working on for years, and some of which are new and aligned with the Governor’s MI Healthy Climate Plan. There will also be a focus on the state budget including ensuring that the state and Michigan businesses are poised to make the most of the new Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) opportunities. It really feels like we are standing on the precipice of a bright new future for advanced energy in Michigan, and we just need to make sure that we are ready to capture the moment.
Q: Do you see any opportunities for bipartisan legislative action on energy?
Absolutely. Energy is not an inherently partisan issue, which leaves a lot of room to work across those lines. I think, especially given the momentum that the advanced energy industry has had over the last decade, Republicans and Democrats tend to augur a similar energy future, which leads to a lot of bipartisan work.
Q: How important are federal actions like the ongoing implementation of the IRA’s spending opportunities and tax credits going to be for the success of Michigan EIBC’s policy agenda this year?
I think the IRA and the IIJA are going to be massively influential this year. As I mentioned previously, I think a big part of our focus will be ensuring that we take advantage of the wave of industry growth that will be triggered by the IRA and IIJA. The passage of the federal pieces has really established a mood in the energy policy environment that everyone seems to be acting in accordance with. It causes a chain reaction of actions that need to be taken. If we anticipate companies to be rapidly expanding, what do we need to do so our state is attractive enough to draw their business? Will there be room to expand that business once they get here? The answers to these questions tend to be our policy priorities, which puts us in a really advantageous spot to get a lot of good work done.
MPSC Approves Settlement Agreement on Consumers Energy Rate Case
On Jan. 19, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) approved a settlement agreement between Consumers Energy and groups including Michigan EIBC that concludes the company’s latest electric rate case (U-21224).
As we described when the agreement was struck a few weeks ago, the settlement has several provisions that require Consumers Energy to make positive changes in its distributed generation and EV programs.
The settlement doubles the size of the cap on the number of distributed generation customers that Consumers Energy must connect to the grid, ensuring that more customers who want to add rooftop solar will be able to do so. The settlement also gives distributed generation customers better compensation for the power they export to the grid, improving the economic case for rooftop solar.
Regarding the company’s EV programs, the settlement supports the growth of electric vehicle use in Consumers Energy’s service territory by requiring recipients of rebates for chargers to ensure they are operational when customers need them. It also requires Consumers to conduct a pilot program on curbside EV charging, and requires the EV program to eventually be made permanent.
Other provisions of the agreement include:
- Consumers Energy must evaluate and provide a strawman recommendation on community solar in its Voluntary Green Pricing Program by October 2023.
- The company must report on the availability of distribution monitoring technology, which can be used to improve reliability by detecting grid conditions that lead to outages.
- The company must propose a pilot for electrifying residential use of propane, fuel oil, and other unregulated fuels in its next electric rate case.
- The company must incorporate analyses of environmental justice and equity into distribution investment plans.
This settlement agreement will “transition the electric vehicle program to a permanent program and better involve customers in its decision making process, with a focus on equity and environmental justice,” MPSC Commissioner Katherine Peretick said in the meeting approving the agreement. “I commend the progress made by all parties involved and am excited to witness the implementation of these programs in the years to come.”
We’re Hiring A Sustainable Business Associate!
Michigan EIBC and the Institute for Energy Innovation (IEI) are hiring a full-time entry-level associate. Recent or soon-to-be graduates are encouraged to apply. Join our small, dynamic, team to support the clean energy and sustainable business community!
Anticipated tasks include:
- Assist in managing, maintaining, and organizing data across multiple software platforms
- Maintenance and clean-up of membership data in Salesforce
- Communication and collaboration with members of the advanced energy industry
- Assist with member retention and new member outreach
- Assist in event logistics planning and tracking
- Assist with preparation, execution, and follow-up for events
- Assist in management of multiple social media platforms
- Support regulatory and legislative policy efforts including research, report writing, and participation in key meetings
Desired qualifications include:
- Experience or education in business, political science, sustainability, clean energy or environment
- Eagerness to step-in to help with any task to support a small team
- Ability to communicate professionally with business leaders and partners
- Ability to balance multiple tasks at once
- Strong self-motivation and ability to take initiative
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Attention to detail and organizational capabilities
Benefits: This position offers a competitive salary ($35,000 – $40,000) with generous benefits including vacation (4 weeks paid), health and dental coverage (100% of premiums covered), flexible work hours, parental leave, retirement contribution matching, monthly cell phone and internet stipends, reimbursement for travel expenses, and reimbursement for certain office expenses.
Location: Work from home in a virtual environment. The preferred candidate would be willing/able to attend meetings in the Lansing area approximately once per month.
To apply: Please fill out this form (including submission of a resume and cover letter) by Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at 5:00pm ET. Please direct any questions to Jamie Scripps (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Michigan Energy News
- Michigan EIBC member Advanced Battery Concepts strikes an agreement to supply its battery technology to provide 646 MWh of storage to customers in Southern California.
- A survey of solar incentives in Michigan published by pv magazine USA quotes Dr. Laura Sherman.
- Volatility in natural gas prices, which are passed onto consumers in the form of higher electricity rates, show the need to move toward more electrification, the Citizens Utility Board of Michigan writes in the Detroit News.
- The Environmental Law and Policy Center’s (ELPC) “power plants to parklands” project is looking to turn the sites of Michigan coal plants into public parks.
- Starting in March, DTE customers will pay more for electricity during on-peak hours, especially from June through September.
- Small utilities in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula are concerned they may lose out on federal subsidies for EV chargers from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program.
National Energy News
- In 2024 renewable energy will make up over one-fourth of U.S. electricity generation for the first time, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects.
- The Coalition for Community Solar Access announces a goal of 30 GW of community solar capacity by 2030, six times the level there is now.
- Small modular nuclear reactors, distributed energy and energy storage can work together to electrify the heavy transportation sector, according to a new University of Michigan study.
- Electricity prices increased at double the overall rate of inflation in 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Hanwha Group and LG Energy Solution sign a memorandum of understanding to jointly build more battery manufacturing in the U.S.
- Climeworks claims to be the first company to remove carbon dioxide from the open air “at a meaningful scale using a third-party verified process,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
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 email@example.com. Please include in the email a specific end date for the job posting.
As Director of State Affairs, you will play a leadership role in building and guiding a team of state policy advocates to transform state and regional electric markets and enable Form Energy’s goals. The team you direct will secure incentives, procurement programs, electricity market designs, and other supportive policies for multi-day storage that will enable Form Energy to deploy multiple gigawatts of our iron-air batteries before 2030. Your team will lead efforts to weave multi-day storage into all aspects of state electric resource planning and decarbonization goals.
The Policy Manager, Eastern Region will drive policy advocacy efforts across eastern states to advance Form’s goals and transform state and regional electric markets. You will collaborate with policy team leadership alongside outside partners to develop and execute state specific advocacy plans that successfully influence regulatory and legislative outcomes and advance Form’s goals. You will be responsible for securing incentives, procurement programs, and changes to market design in priority states to develop markets for multi-day energy storage.
This position serves as a recognized technical resource regarding light-duty electric vehicles (plug-in electric vehicles [PEV], hybrid electric vehicles [HEV], battery electric vehicles [BEV]), charging infrastructure, planning of road networks, and commercial building codes related to PEV. It will interface with various state agencies and private sectors to research, analyze, develop, and manage projects/programs that support the State Energy Program’s (SEP) Light-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Supply Equipment Program objectives in coordination with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) work on the Volkswagen (VW) Environmental Mitigation Trust (EMT) and Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP).
As a recognized resource, this position serves as the Building Trade Industry Engineer for EGLE’s Energy Services, with responsibilities for supporting operations and maintenance activities within the public (state and municipal units of government and institutions) and commercial buildings’ sectors. These duties include, but are not limited to, grant management; interfacing with the public; providing in-depth engineering technical assistance for optimization of energy intensive building operating systems; developing strategies for reducing energy consumption in building; benchmarking building operations; technical advising on performance contracting; authoring technical reports; and serving as a technical resource to EGLE on building matters.
Michigan and National Energy Events
Save the date April 26, 2023 for the Michigan Energy Innovators Conference at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing.
Save the dates Aug. 6-9, 2023 for the Mid-America Regulatory Conference (MARC) Annual Meeting at the JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids.
The Michigan Public Service Commission, EGLE and the Great Plains Institute encourages organizations that are interested in partnering on applications for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnership (GRIP) competitive grant program to share their contact information by filling out this form.
The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a Notice of Intent announcing $550 million for community-based clean energy projects through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, Section 40552(b) of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021. Applications will open in January 2023.
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority has announced the second round of funding the Michigan Housing Opportunities Promoting Energy-Efficiency (MI-HOPE) program, which will provide up to $10 million dollars statewide based on a formal subrecipient award structure to 501(c) nonprofit agencies and units of government. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 9. Please follow the instructions outlined on the MSHDA website to complete the submission requirements.
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.