- Newsletter (395)
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:
DOE Report Shows Michigan Leading Nation in New Energy Jobs
The U.S. Energy and Employment Report, released by the U.S. Department of Energy, finds that Michigan, propelled especially by growth in EV-related industries, added more new energy industry jobs in 2021 than any other state.
Michigan added 35,500 energy jobs, followed by Texas with 30,900 and California at 29,400. The report covers five energy industry sectors: electric power generation; transmission, distribution, and storage; fuels; energy efficiency; and motor vehicles. “Clean energy industries” were the primary drivers of growth in these sectors, “especially in solar, wind, and electric vehicles,” according to the report.
The motor vehicles sector was the fastest-growing of the five, both nationwide and in Michigan. Around the country, from 2020 to 2021, jobs in that sector related to EVs grew by 26%, compared to 8% for jobs related to gasoline and diesel-fueled vehicles.
The DOE’s report shows how advanced energy continues to bounce back following job losses in many sectors due to the pandemic. “While the energy sector as a whole has not recovered all of the jobs lost in 2020, nearly all technologies added energy jobs in 2021. Employment in transmission, distribution, and storage; energy efficiency; and motor vehicles increased across all technologies,” the report said.
Michigan Legislature Approves New Budget
This week the state legislature passed a $75.5 billion budget by the July 1 deadline that includes funding for several advanced energy priorities.
Some of the most notable budget provisions are:
- Energy Efficiency Revolving Fund: a $7.2 million appropriation of federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funds to help states develop a revolving loan fund that can provide loans and grants for energy efficiency audits, upgrades, and retrofits to increase energy efficiency and improve building stock.
- Weatherization Assistance Program: $20 million in IIJA funds for low-income family access to energy efficiency
- Michigan EIBC member Michigan Saves: $1 million
We will continue to provide more details about the budget and process as we learn them.
Legislation to Allow Payment in Lieu of Taxes for Utility-Scale Solar Introduced
This week State Sens. Kevin Daley (R-Lum) and Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) introduced legislation that would allow utility-scale solar systems over 2 MW in size, at the discretion of local governments, to make a “payment in lieu of taxes” (PILT) instead of paying ad valorem property taxes.
This legislation would increase certainty for local governments, utilities and developers. Paying PILT avoids drawn-out battles over the initial valuation of projects. With PILT, local governments are able to receive a steady income that is clear from the outset of projects. The PILT agreements would last for 20 years.
Michigan EIBC has participated in a workgroup and nearly two years18 months of conversations with stakeholders to arrive at these bills.
State of Mich. Treasurer Rachael Eubanks to Keynote 10th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala
We are excited to announce that State of Michigan Treasurer, Rachael Eubanks will be the keynote speaker for the 10th Annual Energy Innovators Gala on Sept. 28 at The Eastern in Detroit! Tickets are now on sale for this event!
Rachael Eubanks was appointed as Michigan’s 47th State Treasurer by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in January of 2019. She is committed to bringing creativity, collaboration, and commitment to identify and implement solutions to some of Michigan’s greatest challenges. She does this while also building upon Treasury’s culture of service to Michiganders, through continuous improvement and employee engagement, which are the foundation of Treasury’s mission to provide fair and efficient financial services on behalf of taxpayers, governments, students, and all Michiganders, for the long-term fiscal health and stability of our state. In 2016 she was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder (and reappointed in 2017) to serve on the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) as a utility regulatory commissioner. In that capacity she reviewed and voted on hundreds of orders that helped shape Michigan’s energy future. In particular, the Commission had regulatory oversight over the implementation of two comprehensive energy law changes during her tenure. She served on several national organizations, including being elected as Vice President to the Organization of PJM States, Inc., and was on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, where she was Chair of the Supplier and Workforce Development Subcommittee.
ChargerHelp! sits at the intersection of workforce development, adult learning, and clean technology enabling the on-demand diagnostics, maintenance, and repair of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. ChargerHelp! partners with network provider, manufacturers, and utility companies to ensure equitable EV charger reliability throughout the US.
SunPower designs all-in-one residential solutions backed by personal customer service and the industry’s most comprehensive warranty to provide clean energy and storage to everyone. With over 35 years of dedicated solar experience, SunPower is the only U.S.-based solar company that’s been around longer than its 25-year warranty.
-Headquartered in Silicon Valley since 1985.
-Diversified portfolio leading residential and solar storage solutions.
-Exclusive access to the world’s highest efficiency solar panels featuring SunPower® Maxeon® cell technology.
-Industry leader in solar sustainability and social responsibility.
-SunPower has received more than 1,000 patents for solar innovation.
Michigan Energy News
- In reaction to the West Virginia v. EPA ruling, Gov. Whitmer says that the MI Healthy Climate Plan “ensures that no matter what happens in DC, we’ll tackle climate change head-on and protect our beautiful state for future generations.”
- The Palisades nuclear plant has been sold to a company that will decommission, ending the effort to stop the plant from closing.
- The state legislature approves a $101 million incentive package for Ford Motor Co. related to the project to build more all-electric trucks in Dearborn.
- Michigan AG Dana Nessel applauds the introduction of legislation that would prohibit price gouging for certain energy products.
- A solar array will power the city of Grand Rapids’ Lake Michigan Filtration Plant, a part of the city’s efforts to use renewable energy to power 100% of city operations by 2025 and reach net zero by 2040.
- Ten Michigan churches will share a $1.24 million energy efficiency grant under the Sacred Spaces Clean Energy program, Michigan EGLE announces.
National Energy News
- The Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia v. EPA “limits the tools available to the [EPA] to sensibly reduce power plant emissions using cost-effective strategies that reflect the realities of an electric power system that is increasingly dynamic and diverse,” Advanced Energy Economy General Counsel and Managing Director Jeff Dennis said in reaction to the decision.
- Tesla and PG&E launch a pilot program in which aggregations of Tesla Powerwall customers in California will be able to provide emergency power as virtual power plants, the first time such resources will be compensated for exporting electricity and not just reducing load
- Michigan EIBC member NextEra Energy announces its commitment to “real zero”: achieving net-zero emissions without relying on offsets.
- The Biden administration mentions projects by Michigan EIBC members ChargePoint and FLO as examples of the private sector investment into EV charging catalyzed by the administration’s actions.
- Michigan EIBC member Jupiter Power announces that its 200-MW Crossett battery energy storage facility in Texas has begun commercial operations.
- The under-construction Advanced Clean Energy Storage Delta “green hydrogen” project in Utah is meant to store energy generated by renewables for months.
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.
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.
Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE)
As the recognized resource to the Building Trade Industry, the Engineer works within EGLE’s Energy Services. The Engineer’s primary responsibilities are providing in-depth engineering technical support to optimize energy intensive building operating systems for the state and municipal units of government, institutions, and commercial sectors. This position will assist building operators in development and implementation of energy waste reduction goals. It will strive to promote and coordinate the integration of efficiency technologies in building operations; support energy waste reduction building projects in the public and private sectors; lead pilot projects to promote and advance the Department of Energy/State Energy Program’s mission; and collaborate with other both within and external to state government on energy issues.
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
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. Buy tickets now!
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.
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 email@example.com.