Michigan EIBC Newsletter: Good News on Distributed Generation From DTE Rate Case Decision

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 Rate Case Order Brings Victories on Distributed Generation and EV Charging Program

The week before Thanksgiving, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) made a decision in the most recent electric rate case from DTE that surprised many observers with how much of DTE’s proposed spending was disallowed by the MPSC. But another important result of the MPSC’s order is that it rejected DTE’s proposed modifications to the tariff for distributed generation (DG), agreeing with Michigan EIBC and other intervening groups, and adopted Michigan EIBC’s proposal to increase credits for rooftop solar customers.

We have been vocal in the rate case progress, the media and elsewhere about how DTE’s tariff would have been disastrous for rooftop solar. The MPSC affirmed one of our main points, that DG like rooftop solar does not shift costs onto other customers. “The Commission is not convinced by the company’s argument that DG customers create a cost shift onto non-DG customers and does not find that the company properly evaluated the benefits of DG systems or how DG systems interact with the grid, as pointed out by intervenors,” the order said. The Commission also agreed with Michigan EIBC and other intervenors that the value of avoided transmission costs should be added to the credit given to DG customers with a tariff update required within 30 days of the Order.

Just as importantly, the MPSC agreed with Michigan EIBC and other groups that there needs to be a new rooftop solar tariff so that new customers trying to add rooftop solar are not left in the dark if the limit on rooftop solar in DTE’s territory is reached. “Within 90 days from the date of this order, DTE Electric shall file in a new docket the options available to customers with DG systems should DTE Electric decide to cap participation in its current DG program,” the order said.

While it is still imperative that the DG cap be removed, and Michigan EIBC will continue to push for the elimination of the cap by the legislature, this “successor tariff” that the MPSC ordered be created will ensure a long-term, uncapped, simple process for customers. 

The MPSC also ordered several changes to DTE’s EV charging program that were in line with recommendations Michigan EIBC made during the course of the rate case. These include:

  • The requirement that in its next rate case DTE propose a permanent EV program, reflecting the growth in EV sales
  • Improving EV charger reliability by matching the federal uptime requirements
  • Supporting the development of hosting capacity maps that include data valuable for the siting of EV charging infrastructure

Liesl Eichler Clark Leaving Michigan EGLE

Gov. Whitmer announced Friday that Liesl Eichler Clark will be leaving her post as director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger will serve as acting director of EGLE.

Congratulations to Liesl for her many accomplishments during her tenure leading Michigan EGLE, including the release of the Energy Storage Roadmap and the MI Healthy Climate Plan!

Report: U.S. Battery Supply Chain Poised for Strong Growth Over Next Decade

Both in Michigan and nationally, a major focus of recent energy policy has been how to shore up the domestic supply chain for batteries used in EVs and for energy storage. Now, a new report from Goldman Sachs predicts that the right mix of policies could allow the U.S. and Europe to be reliant on their own domestic battery supply chain by 2030.

That would be a big change from today, where Chinese companies are estimated to control about 70% of battery production. The Goldman Sachs report found, however, that three broad types of policies could roll back this dominance: first, policies to protect and promote the growth of U.S. and European battery industries; second, the development of alternative battery chemistries that do not require as many minerals from China; and, third, the growth of more battery recycling. The U.S. has been taking steps forward in each of these areas.

An example of the first category is the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which Goldman Sachs cites as a major reason that supply chain independence is possible for the U.S. over the next decade. Taking advantage of the law’s tax credits and subsidies for domestic manufacturing has become a critical component of Michigan EIBC member General Motors’ strategy to locate more battery manufacturing in the U.S., Reuters recently reported.

Beyond the IRA, the U.S. Department of Energy announced in October that it will provide $2.8 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law “to build and expand commercial-scale facilities in 12 states to extract and process lithium, graphite and other battery materials, manufacture components, and demonstrate new approaches, including manufacturing components from recycled materials,” the agency said in a statement.

Other initiatives to promote battery recycling include $74 million from the DOE, announced last month, for 10 different projects related to recycling and reuse within the domestic battery supply chain.


New Member

Sun Tribe Solar
With nearly 70 employees, over 100 projects completed or under development, and an award-winning track record of innovation and implementation, Sun Tribe is one of the fastest growing clean energy companies in the Mid-Atlantic United States. Thanks to an experienced, in-house team of development, engineering, financial, regulatory, procurement, and construction experts, Sun Tribe serves as a comprehensive energy advisory and delivery company for our client-partners. Whether building the first solar array to sit on an abandoned coal mine in Virginia’s history, powering the first 100% on-site solar school district in the country, installing solar on flagship state government buildings, or working with Fortune 200 companies to help meet their sustainability goals, Sun Tribe specializes in creating a brighter energy future through long-lasting, sustainable partnerships.

Renewing Members


Bollinger Motors
Bollinger Motors is driving distinction through truly evolved EV solutions and reinventing the all-electric truck from the ground up. Bollinger’s class 3 electric trucks, including the B1 Sport Utility Truck, the B2 Pickup Truck, the B2 Chassis Cab, and the Chass-E, will offer dual-motor drivetrain creating best-in-class horsepower and torque, all-wheel drive, 50/50 weight distribution, unbeatable traction, and best-in-class ground clearance for both consumer and commercial applications. Built in Detroit, made to change the world. Learn more about the company, its products, and career opportunities at bollingermotors.com.

Foresight Management
Since 2007, Foresight has existed to champion energy management, accelerate sustainability and increase profitability for our clients. We serve commercial, industrial and institutional organizations across North America and the globe. Our interdisciplinary team of energy engineers, sustainability experts, data analysts, software engineers, procurement professionals and project managers work together to provide holistic, proactive and strategic solutions for our growing client base. Service areas include but are not limited to; utility bill collection, reporting and optimization, energy procurement consulting, facility energy audits, renewable energy feasibility studies, carbon emission calculations and reporting, energy modeling, commissioning and retro-commissioning.

Metro Consulting Associates
Metro Consulting Associates (MCA) is a multifaceted energy, land, and community development firm that serves both private and public sector clients throughout the Midwestern United States and beyond. Founded in 2009 as a land surveying firm, MCA has grown to provide a mix of services, talent, and technology driven by client needs and community goals to make life better. With the capabilities and expertise typically found in large, multidisciplinary firms, combined with the agile project management and budget-friendly services of a smaller firm, Metro Consulting Associates delivers on value. Serving clients in the power and energy, municipal, land development, and oil and gas markets, MCA’s technical expertise will satisfy any and all emerging challenges, taking you where you want to go.

NOVI Energy
NOVI Energy is an energy consulting and energy infrastructure project development company established in 2002. They support utility, industrial, commercial, institutional, and governmental customers in the development and implementation of their short and long-term energy strategies. Their professionals have extensive knowledge in all areas of the energy value chain from production to consumption, and functional expertise in engineering, fuel, power, energy management, finance, and risk management. NOVI has substantial experience in conceptualizing, designing, and managing all aspects of construction through achieving commercial operations, asset management, and ownership of small to large scale power generation facilities using renewable, conventional, and other innovative technologies. They have provided a full range of power project development services, conducted feasibility analyses for their clients and themselves worldwide, and evaluated energy systems that use a range of fuel sources and technologies including solar, energy storage, wind, high-efficiency combined heat and power (CHP) facilities, natural gas-fueled simple and combined cycle turbines, biomass, biogas, and run-of-river hydro. NOVI’s current development portfolio of more than a billion dollars, includes large energy storage systems, utility scale solar PV systems including systems with battery-based energy storage, and natural gas fired combined-cycle and high efficiency CHP facilities. Their experience in the energy industry includes fuel sourcing, site acquisition, design, financing, permitting, construction, and operations of energy facilities. NOVI Energy has well over 100 years of collective experience in development, design, construction, and ownership of small to large-scale power and energy generation facilities utilizing both conventional and renewable fuel technologies.

Ventower Industries
Ventower Industries is a leading North American steel fabricator currently specializing in wind turbine towers, marine foundation solutions, pressure vessels, welded storage tanks and the application of various coating systems.


Michigan Energy News

  • The New York Times cites DTE as an example of how utility companies have shifted focus from fighting regulations on fossil-fuel-burning power plants to shifting away from fossil fuels. 
  • The MPSC’s hearing on the DTE integrated resource plan on Dec. 12 will allow the public to weigh in on DTE’s plans to convert the Belle River plant from coal to gas and invest in renewables and battery storage, Union of Concerned Scientists Lead Midwest Energy Analyst James Gignac writes.
  • A Michigan State University professor is leading a U.S. Department of Energy project to model the physics needed to create and control nuclear fusion power
  • A proposal presented to the Ann Arbor Planning Commission would prohibit natural gas connections in new buildings starting in 2023.
  • Stellantis is partnering with Troy, Mich.-based Future Energy to reach out to the network of dealers of Jeep and other Stellantis models and prepare them to sell and service EV models.
  • The Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region is using a $500,000 grant from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to provide energy-efficient repairs to applicants’ homes

National Energy News

  • A first-of-its-kind-for-the-U.S. project will use dynamic-line-rating sensors on upstate New York transmission lines to potentially reduce curtailment of wind power by up to 350 MW.
  • Global sales of heat pumps are hitting record-highs as rising energy prices lead buildings to look for alternatives to fossil fuels, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.
  • Meta is the top corporate solar user for the first nine months of 2022, according to a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association.
  • A number of major U.S. cities are implementing fines on certain business owners who do not comply with limits on energy use and emissions. 
  • The application from NuScale Power for federal approval of what could be the first small modular nuclear reactor in the country is lacking significant necessary information about the core design, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • United Airlines plans to use sodium-ion batteries to help it electrify operations at airports.

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.

Form Energy

Director, State Affairs. Location: Somerville, Mass., Berkeley, Calif., Washington, D.C., or Remote

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. 

Form Energy

Policy Manager, Eastern Region. Location: Remote

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. 

Madison Energy Investments

Finance Analyst — Renewable Energy. Location: Vienna, Va., or New York City

Madison Energy Investments is a high-growth, PE-backed renewable energy company with investments in Solar, Battery and Electric Vehicle infrastructure.Madison is seeking a full-time Finance Analyst to work on our renewable energy investments. Candidates should have a passion for systematically managing cash flows of a business, general knowledge of accounting principles and ability to work cross functionally with team members in Sales, Accounting and Operations.

Michigan and National Energy Events

Michigan EIBC member Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University is holding the “Manu-Tech Pitch Competition 2022: Catalyzing Sustainability in Domestic Manufacturing” at the Mint in Lathrup Village on Dec. 7. This event is a forum for manufacturers, tech companies and investors to share the latest advancements in manufacturing and industry 4.0 technologies as well as share what is needed for domestic manufacturing to remain globally competitive. Register for free here.

The MPSC is hosting a virtual public hearing on DTE’s integrated resource plan on Monday,
Dec. 12. Anyone can participate by using this Microsoft Teams Livestream hearing link or by
calling 248-509-0316 and entering the conference ID (550 810 363#) when prompted.

The MPSC is holding an energy assistance fair in Melvindale on Dec. 15 (rescheduled from Nov. 17 due to weather conditions).


Consumers Energy will release a Solar Generation RFP on Dec. 8. More details here.

The Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice (MAC-EJ), whose members are appointed by Michigan EGLE, advises the state on environmental issues. The state government is currently seeking statewide nominations for new members of MAC-EJ, with applications due by Dec. 19.

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 Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) is soliciting an all-source Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking competitive proposals to supply up to 475 MW firm capacity to meet customer loads into the future and to meet the planning reserve requirements of the Mid-Continent Independent System Operator (MISO). RFP offers are due on Jan. 13, 2023Registration to participate in this RFP is here.

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.