- Newsletter (351)
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:
Building Code Updates Get Public Hearing
At a public hearing on Tuesday, Michigan EIBC pressed state regulators to adopt model energy codes that will maximize energy efficiency savings among new buildings and to also add additional requirements to the codes for EV readiness.
“Updating the building codes is one of the greatest tools the State of Michigan holds to make necessary advancements in energy efficiency and advanced mobility,” Michigan EIBC Director of Research and Policy Grace Michienzi said in her comments submitted to the Michigan Bureau of Construction Codes, part of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).
At the hearing, Michienzi spoke about three key provisions that LARA should include in the state’s building codes, which are in the process of being updated for the first time in over six years.
First, she urged LARA to approve the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). For residential buildings, the 2021 IECC “represents approximately a 12% improvement in efficiency through more efficient thermal envelopes, improved mechanical system efficiency, improved lighting, and other cost-effective improvements compared to the 2015 model code, which is similar to Michigan’s current code,” her comments said.
Second, requirements that buildings have the necessary electrical equipment for EV charging should be added to the code. “Making homes EV ready at the time of construction can save customers $1,000 to $2,500 in retrofit costs” according to research from the New Buildings Institute, Michienzi pointed out.
Finally, requirements that commercial building owners monitor their buildings’ energy performance, which is included in the IECC model code, should be placed back into Michigan’s code. “Building energy performance, if not properly monitored and maintained, erodes over time, and therefore energy monitoring, in addition to commissioning, would ensure the level of energy efficiency, as designed, is met over the life of the building,” her comments said.
Michigan EIBC also joined with a number of other organizations, including the Michigan Environmental Council, the Ecology Center, the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and Sierra Club, and sent a letter to LARA similarly supporting reliance on the 2021 IECC with commercial energy monitoring requirements and calling for the addition of EV readiness.
“These provisions will lower costs for Michigan residents and businesses, increase household resilience from extreme weather events, and help reduce climate impacts from the building sector,” the letter said. “This is crucial for ensuring Michigan’s building codes are equitable, delivering benefits to people facing poor housing quality, high energy burdens, and disproportionate health impacts in their homes and communities resulting from our reliance on fossil fuels.”
MPSC Probes Role of Demand Response and Energy Storage In Addressing MISO Capacity Issues
The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has opened an inquiry into ways that Michigan can improve the amount of available capacity to avoid emergency power shortages in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), including how greater roles for demand response and energy storage can help.
This request for comments came in a June 23 MPSC order that responded to a report from the MPSC staff. MISO has established several local resource zones (LRZs) across its footprint, and each of these zones has a planning reserve margin requirement. That report noted that for one of MISO’s LRZs in Michigan, MISO has forecasted that while there is enough overall capacity for the zone, when excluding capacity imports from other zones, it forecasts a capacity shortfall relative to the planning reserve margin requirement. In light of these forecasts as well as other warnings from MISO about capacity margins throughout the Midwest, the MPSC’s order said that “it would be prudent to seek input from [load-serving entities] and stakeholders on a number of topics related to potential solutions to improving the capacity position of Michigan’s LRZs.”
One of those topics concerns an MPSC ban on Michigan retail customers’ ability to bid demand response resources into wholesale electricity markets like MISO’s. The MPSC’s order asked for comment on whether that ban on demand response aggregation should be lifted so that customers can bid their ability to shift load into the wholesale markets as an additional capacity resource to help with potential shortfalls. In other states, providers have successfully implemented demand response aggregation services through the establishment of “virtual power plants.”
The MPSC also asked for comments that specifically address “whether the Commission should now allow the simultaneous participation of [energy storage resources] in the wholesale and retail markets.”
The Commission will also take comments on additional measures that it should consider to enhance reliability and resource adequacy, which could include distributed energy resources, storage, renewable energy, combined-heat and power, demand response and energy efficiency. Following an order by the MPSC on July 7, comments are now due on September 1.
Tickets On Sale for 10th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala
Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available for the 10th Annual Energy Innovators Gala on Sept. 28 at The Eastern in Detroit! Get your tickets now! Please click here for more sponsorship details and contact Brianna Gerard at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
The Gala’s keynote speaker will be State of Michigan Treasurer Rachael Eubanks. 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.
Thank you to our sponsors!
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Michigan Energy News
- Michigan Energy First, the 501(c)(4) led by DTE’s Vice President of Corporate and Government Affairs Renze Hoeksema, starts a new group that is raising money for the state senate campaign of Rep. Joe Bellino (R-Monroe), the chair of the House Energy Committee who blocked the progress of legislation to eliminate the cap on distributed generation.
- Deeana Ahmed of Michigan EIBC member Our Next Energy says a recent U.S. Department of Energy report is “strong evidence” that the EV sector in Michigan will continue to grow.
- The new state budget includes $130 million for an EV training center at the University of Michigan.
- Burns & McDonnell representatives call for the MPSC and EGLE to work together to create a Michigan-specific energy plan that would include a greater role for pumped storage and wind turbines installed near forests.
- Consumers Energy receives regulatory approval to invest $170 into its Michigan natural gas system.
- The MPSC orders that Enbridge must submit more detailed engineering information about Line 5.
National Energy News
- Over 13 states are implementing various forms of performance-based regulation.
- The Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia v. EPA may imperil FERC’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from pipelines and similar efforts.
- New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signs several pieces of energy legislation into law including a bill that will strengthen the state’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases from buildings and another to expand heating and cooling networks.
- California lawmakers approve measures to deal with blackouts, including the creation of a strategic reliability reserve fund.
- Mary Powell, CEO of Michigan EIBC member Sunrun, talks about how the company has fundamentally changed its management of the supply chain in response to COVID-19 and the threat of tariffs.
- A San Francisco Bay Area virtual power plant project is trying to also reduce housing costs for residents who participate.
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.
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)
Position: Environmental Engineer 12 (Building Trade Industry Engineer). Lansing
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 onSept. 28 at The Eastern in Detroit. Buy tickets now!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.