Michigan EIBC Newsletter: Energy Innovators Conference, New Board Members, eCAMION Grant 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:

Thank You For Attending the 10th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Conference

Thank you to all who joined us for the 10th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Conference on April 26 in East Lansing!  It was wonderful to connect in-person with the broad, diverse, and dynamic advanced energy community. The conference featured panel discussions and networking opportunities that addressed the question: what could Michigan’s energy sector look like in the next decade and beyond?

Historically, access to clean and affordable energy has been split along racial and socioeconomic lines. Keynote speaker Tony Reames, senior advisor on energy justice at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, talked about efforts to ensure that future energy investments are made equitably in Michigan and the country as a whole. Reames is a pioneer of research into energy justice through his work at the University of Michigan, and he is currently on a one-year leave from the university to design energy policy at the DOE that takes justice and equity into account.

The panels at the Conference were:

  • Peering Into the Crystal Ball: What the 2022 Election Could Mean for Energy Policy
    • Moderator: Ryan Wardin, Midwest Strategy Group 
    • JR Tolbert, Advanced Energy Economy
    • Lauren Gibbons, MLive
    • Zachary Gorchow, Gongwer
  • Meet the Jetsons: Bringing Orbit City to the Motor City
    • Moderator: Commissioner Tremaine Phillips, Michigan Public Service Commission
    • Dr. Annick Anctil, Michigan State University
    • Robert Bollinger, Bollinger Motors
    • Manoj Karwa, Rhombus Energy Solutions
    • Kwafo Adarkwa, ITC
  • Harnessing Federal Resources: Opportunities to Enable Michigan’s Energy Future
    • Moderator: Kerry Duggan, SustainabiliD
    • Cory Connolly, Michigan EGLE
    • Zach Kolodin, State of Michigan
    • Trevor Pawl, State of Michigan
  • Floods, Blizzards, and Heat Waves: The Role of DERs in Improving Reliability and Resilience
    • Moderator: Sally Talberg, Talberg Policy Solutions
    • Amy Heart, Sunrun
    • Donna Northern, Detroit Homeland Security & Emergency Management
    • Kevin Self, Schneider Electric 
  • Energy Storage: Exploring the Future of the “Bacon of the Grid”
    • Moderator: Commissioner Katherine Peretick, Michigan Public Service Commission
    • Julian Boggs, Key Capture Energy
    • Nina Peluso, Form Energy
    • Caitlin Smith, Jupiter Power
    • Jessica Woycehoski, Consumers Energy
  • All Energy is Local: The Role of City, Township, and County Government
    • Moderator: Sarah Mills, University of Michigan
    • Brenden Miller, Lapeer County
    • Melissa Stults, City of Ann Arbor
    • Heather Zygmontowicz, City of Detroit








New Michigan EIBC Board Members Elected

Prior to the 10th Annual Energy Innovators Conference, members of Michigan EIBC elected three new Board Members. These individuals will serve three-year terms on the Board, supporting the organization and our mission. Congratulations to the new Board members!

Kwafo Adarkwa
Director of Public Affairs

Amy Heart
Senior Director, Public Policy


Max Schuster
Director of Project Development
Barton Malow Company

Consumers Energy IRP Settlement Will Set the Utility for More Renewable and Storage Procurements

Michigan AG Dana Nessel and various parties including Michigan EIBC, along with intervening partners the Institute for Energy Innovation and Clean Grid Alliance, have struck a settlement agreement with Consumers Energy regarding its pending Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Broadly, the agreement requires the early retirement of the utility’s last coal-fired units in 2025 and that Consumers Energy competitively procure nearly 8,000 megawatts of additional solar power by 2040. 

Some of the most notable provisions of the settlement for Michigan EIBC members are:

  • It extends the fair and competitive bidding processes that Consumers Energy must use in annual solicitations for new capacity, including provisions that approximately 50% of projects will be PPAs and 50% will be Company-owned.
  • The settlement requires Consumers Energy to perform a one-time competitive solicitation for two tranches of power purchase agreements. The second of these  includes provisions to ensure that renewable energy and battery storage projects can fairly compete.
  • The settlement sets the PURPA Standard Offer Tariff at 5 MW and sets forth a process to develop a simple process for projects less than 150 kW to receive full avoided cost rates.
  • For the next IRP, Consumers Energy must survey customers to improve modeling of combined-heat and power resources and must develop a model to consider rooftop solar as a supply-side resource.
  • The agreement also improves the ways Consumers Energy’s next IRP must consider air pollution, health impacts, and environmental justice and conduct public outreach.

The settlement is still waiting for final approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission.

State Awards Mobility Project Grants to Six Companies Including eCAMION

On April 28, Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II announced $577,000 in grants from the Michigan Mobility Funding Platform to support projects related to expanding EV charging infrastructure and access to EVs in various parts of the state. These grants bring the total awards from the Michigan Mobility Funding Platform to date to $1.7 million.

One of the six companies that won grants is Michigan EIBC member eCAMION Inc., who will use the grant for its project to install Battery Energy Storage Systems in the village of Port Austin, located in Michigan’s Thumb region. Michigan EGLE and DTE will partner with eCAMION in the project. “The systems, which include DC Fast Chargers, are designed to operate independently and act as a buffer to electric grids. Additionally, they rely on very little power, making them ideal for supporting electric vehicle charging in more remote, rural areas,” a statement from Gilchrist’s office said.

Congratulations, eCAMION!



Michigan Energy News

  • U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is visiting Michigan next week for an announcement related to the clean energy provisions included in the $1 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
  • The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) warns of the possibility of “temporary, controlled outages” to preserve reliability in Michigan and other parts of the MISO region.
  • Adopting the MI Healthy Climate Plan’s target for deployment of energy storage would make Michigan the 10th state to have a storage target.
  • Michigan State University says it will convert nearly 370 vehicles in its fleet to fully electric models over the next decade.
  • The state and the National Park Service are partnering together on a set of mobility technologies to make it easier for visitors to get around national parks in Michigan with EVs.
  • The plan to avoid the retirement of the Palisades nuclear plant may be too late.

National Energy News

  • The renewable energy world is pleasantly surprised by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s veto of a utility-supported bill that would have cut the rate utilities pay to rooftop solar users for excess energy.
  • PJM Interconnection pauses the review of about 1,200 projects, mostly solar, for two years as it deals with a huge backlog of interconnection requests.
  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is pulling back on a proposal to analyze the impacts of any project that emits a certain level of greenhouse gases.
  • Google is pushing Congress to pass new technology-neutral tax incentives and standalone credits for energy storage and high-voltage transmission lines.
  • LG Energy Solution’s EV battery manufacturing facility in Holland, which will quintuple its output by 2025, is part of a much larger buildout of the company’s worldwide production capacity.
  • Washington state’s Building Code Council requires new commercial buildings to use electric heat pumps.

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.

Advanced Energy Economy

Position: Executive Director, Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance / Policy Director, AEE. Austin, Texas, location preferred, but other Texas locations will be considered. AEE seeks a smart, innovative, and politically savvy Director to join AEE’s professional services team and lead our Texas engagement as the Executive Director of TAEBA. TAEBA’s Executive Director will lead and shape policy advocacy strategies in Texas and will work collaboratively with team members to develop and implement multi-year strategies and campaigns designed to achieve policy successes at the state and wholesale market level that will expand markets for the advanced energy industry and accelerate the transition to clean energy in Texas.   

Advanced Energy Economy

Position: Policy Director  – Decision Maker Education and Engagement & Wholesale Markets. East Coast location. AEE seeks a smart, innovative, and politically savvy Director to join AEE’s professional services team. To support the U.S. transition to 100% clean energy and electrified transportation, the Director will work with AEE team members to engage with and educate key decision makers on advanced energy, and to initiate, develop, and implement multi-year strategies designed to transform federally regulated wholesale electricity markets. The wholesale markets work will focus on building stakeholder coalitions in support of market rule changes necessary to support the growth of clean energy resources and speed the retirement of aging incumbent generating technologies in competitive wholesale electricity markets. The Director will also build and execute programs to educate key decision makers on advanced energy technologies and solutions to energy challenges facing them, whether through work with and at NARUC, regional NARUCs, or through other educational fora.

Ranger Power

Position: Assistant Development Manager
 Ranger Power is seeking an Assistant Development Manager to join its development team in its Chicago office.  As part of a small and dynamic development team, assistant development managers are expected to manage varying responsibilities as projects progress through the development process.  As a developer at Ranger Power, you will drive all aspects of project development and strategy, including site prospecting and land acquisition, site analysis, landowner relations, permitting, interconnection, business development, and community engagement and outreach.

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.

On May 23, please join Michigan EIBC and Clean Fuels Michigan for an EV Convening on “Moving Toward the Mobility Future: Opportunities for EVs in Michigan.” This free event, open to both members and the public, will be held at Public Sector Consultants at 230 N. Washington Square, Lansing. Register here.  


The EV Exchange (EVX) is conducting a comprehensive survey with three critical stakeholder communities responsible for implementing our national strategy for the future of EVs, mobility, and climate change – 1. EV Manufacturers (and their supply chain), 2. Energy Infrastructure & Electric Grid companies, and 3. Federal & State Policy Makers and Regulators. Here is the survey link. Survey deadline for completion and submission is May 9.

Now in its fourth year, the E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) 1 Hotel’s Fellowship provides funding to six Fellows each year to tackle the most pressing environmental issues across the country. Open to U.S.-based early and mid-career professionals and students, this yearlong, flexible fellowship provides $20,000 each to six selected fellows to support the execution projects that help advance climate action and a cleaner economy by engaging the power of businesses and making the economic case for the environment. Click here to find out more details about the program, which includes a link to apply. Applications will be accepted until May 9

This April and May, Michigan Energy Options (MEO) Executive Director John A. Kinch, PhD, will teach a course in the Grand Valley State University Seidman College of Business on “Energy, Climate and Michigan Communities.” MEO is a member of MIEIBC and Kinch will host President Laura Sherman, PhD, speaking on “Renewable Energy Policy: The Good, Bad and The Not Enough.” Other expert guest speakers will address the solar industry, community energy equity and resiliency, decarbonizing the business sector and climate action. The course is intended for business professionals, local government officials, engaged community members and college students. Scholarships are available! Visit the website about the course 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.

To meet customer demand for the voluntary green pricing program (MIGreenPower), DTE is issuing an RFP for new wind and solar projects, both with and without energy storage. The projects must be ready to achieve commercial operation in 2023, be located in Michigan, and be interconnected to MISO or distribution level transmission. Anyone who is interested should register their company information on the Power Advocate website at this link for solar projects and/or this link for wind projects. DTE will be accepting proposals through April 29.

EGLE Energy Services is offering $250,000 in grants to small manufacturers in Michigan to implement energy efficiency activities that can be completed by Aug. 31, 2022, with a maximum grant for $25,000 per manufacturer. Application deadline is April 30

Consumers Energy has released draft materials for its RFP that will solicit solar and wind generation projects in accordance with the company’s expansion of its Voluntary Green Pricing Program. This RFP will be administered by Enel X, affiliated with Michigan EIBC member Enel Green Power. According to the RFP administrator, “questions pertaining to this RFP or the proposal submittal process can be sent via email to Enel X by way of VGPRFP@enel.com. In the event others within your organization did not receive this notice and are interested in being added to the RFP listserv, please send a request via email to VGPRFP@enel.com with contact details for those to be added. Final proposals are due May 31

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.