- Newsletter (345)
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 to Liesl Eichler Clark For Leading Michigan EGLE
Liesl Eichler Clark has had a tremendous impact on the state through her tenure as the first director of the Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), which began January 2019 and will continue through the end of this year. Liesl has played a critical role in leading Michigan’s clean energy transition since 2008; her visionary work after departing the Granholm Administration resulted in the formation of Michigan EIBC, where served as VP for policy and later president. In those capacities, Liesl was instrumental in building relationships between clean energy businesses and policymakers, while collaborating with energy experts and regulators to spur innovative energy policy.
Some accomplishments during her time at EGLE include:
- As EGLE director, Liesl helped to elevate state clean energy and climate action through the creation of the Office of Climate and Energy within the department.
- Under Liesl’s leadership as Chair of the Council on Climate Solutions, EGLE and collaborating departments completed the MI Healthy Climate Plan, a comprehensive set of policy recommendations on how Michigan can meet its interim and long-term emissions reduction goals across different sectors of the economy.
- Environmental justice was a top priority for EGLE under Liesl. EGLE developed the Michigan Environmental Justice Mapping and Screening Tool to help identify communities most affected by environmental hazards, and also worked with other state departments to organize the first Michigan Environmental Justice Conference.
- Liesl chaired the UP Energy Task Force, which published a set of recommendations for how the Upper Peninsula can improve the affordability and diversity of its energy supply.
- EGLE developed the Catalyst Communities Initiative to meet communities wherever they are to provide education, training, planning and technical resources to local elected officials on energy and climate issues.
- EGLE participated in the Council on Future Mobility and Electrification, advising the state on actions to ease the transition to EVs, while also distributing grants to school districts, local governments and more to allow them to replace internal combustion engine vehicles with EVs.
- EGLE launched a dam safety program to help Mid-Michigan communities affected by the historic flood.
- The agency worked on jumpstarting community solar in Michigan.
Michigan EIBC is deeply grateful to Liesl for her vision and service to advance the clean energy transition, and looks forward to continuing to work with her in her next chapter.
Affordable Healthy Homes Bills Introduced to State Legislature
New bills introduced into both chambers of the Michigan legislature this week propose to invest $1.65 billion to make Michigan housing more affordable and healthier through, among other measures, creating a new home retrofit program and investing in all-electric appliances.
The bills are based on the MI Affordable Healthy Homes plan, proposed earlier this year and supported by a coalition of housing, economic development, energy justice, energy and environmental and business organizations, including Michigan EIBC.
“Weatherization is an important tool for reducing home energy costs while ensuring our homes are safe and comfortable. These projects also support and help grow Michigan’s workforce. Advanced energy companies employ close to 120,000 people in Michigan, with the majority of those jobs connected to energy efficiency,” Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman said in a statement released by supporters of the legislation. “These bills include critical investments in weatherization and workforce development that will grow and support our skilled trades and advanced energy workforce.”
The legislative package consists of HB 6551 and HB 6552 in the House, introduced by Rep. Bill Sowerby, D-Clinton Township, and SB 1238 and SB 1239 in the Senate, introduced by Sen. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit.
“Michiganders across the state are struggling to find affordable housing, and often when they do, it’s a home or apartment with drafty windows, holes in roofs, old gas stoves and mold,” said Sen. Chang said in a statement. “Two out of every five homes were built before 1960. These homes need updates to keep utility costs low and ensure they are safe for families to live in. This $1.65 billion investment will improve tens of thousands of homes across Michigan, from Detroit down to Ironwood, reap economic benefits for the state, and increase the quality of life for Michiganders, especially those struggling to make ends meet.”
Whitmer Meets With Biden Admin., Lawmakers About Semiconductor Jobs
Gov. Whitmer recently made a trip to DC to meet with Biden administration officials and members of Congress concerning how to bring more manufacturing jobs to Michigan, especially in advanced energy fields like semiconductor manufacturing.
Whitmer met with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and others in DC, according to reports that quoted the governor’s Communications Director Bobby Leddy as saying that the governor was there to “make the case that we deserve some additional investment” for semiconductors.
The topic was a major one during the governor’s first term. She spoke strongly in support of the CHIPS and Science Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden this summer, a bill that provides incentives for companies to build more manufacturing facilities in the U.S.
These bills and other supportive state policies were discussed during a legislator education session this week hosted by Michigan EIBC’s nonprofit partner organization, the Institute for Energy Innovation, in the Capitol Building. A panel of industry experts from Michigan EIBC member companies Hemlock Semiconductor, Our Next Energy (ONE), Ventower Industries, and Rhombus Energy Solutions discussed policies to support growth in advanced energy manufacturing in Michigan.
Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services — all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 569,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities. Visit us at www.accenture.com. As a leading provider of consulting, digital transformation and managed services to electric, gas and water utilities globally, we empower our clients to create sustainable businesses capable of meeting those expectations. Together with our ecosystem of partners, our industry specialists help our clients to identify cost saving opportunities and securely shift operations while safely delivering sustainable, stable energy experiences.
With over 40 years of combined experience in the electrical utility industry, ecojiva, LLC is a full-service solar energy management system provider. ecojiva, LLC designs Photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions for agriculture, commercial, and industrial enterprises, and is a full-service turn-key enterprise from inception to completion. Our engineers design PV systems that provide access to power independent of the utility grid, and creates surplus power that can be returned to the grid. Founded by utility industry veteran Sridhar K. Ayer, ecojiva, LLC is committed to energy innovation in the solar industry not only as a technology provider but through education and advocacy as well. The company’s expertise also encompasses Transmission & Distribution design services, patent-pending eco-DMT™ energy management system, and ecoSEMS™ complete solar energy solutions.
Leeward Renewable Energy, LLC
Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE) is a growth-oriented renewable energy company that owns and operates a portfolio of 25 renewable energy facilities across nine states, totaling more than 2,500 MW of installed capacity. We are actively developing new wind, solar, and energy storage projects in energy markets across the U.S., with about 20 GW of projects under development spanning over 100 projects. With projects currently under construction and soon to commence construction, we expect to commercialize over 1,000 MW of renewable energy projects in the next two years. As passionate renewable energy advocates, we take great pride in responsible development and the safe operation of our projects. We are focused on building sustainable solutions for clean, renewable energy, and we remain dedicated to empowering communities through energy independence, job creation, and lasting partnerships.
Mid-market companies leverage our “strategy as a service” to build more robust, resilient and sustaining growth. Being strategic growth catalysts, we accelerate the success of companies growing in their current markets, introducing new products and services, and diversifying into new markets. We are based in Michigan and have worked with clean tech and clean energy companies and organizations for many years.
Michigan Energy News
- DTE officially retires the St. Clair Power Plant, which first started operating in 1953.
- James Gignac of the Union of Concerned Scientists casts doubts on DTE’s claim that it is on track to reach emissions reduction deadlines.
- The state of Michigan, city of Detroit and private companies are working on a project to install inductive charging coils under Detroit streets.
- Michigan households will be in more need than ever of assistance programs to be able to afford to heat their homes during this winter.
- Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director of Strategic Policy Judd Herzer talks about efforts to get ready for 2 million EVs on Michigan roads over the next 8 years, up from 12,000 today.
- Consumers Energy is considering removing dams as an option as it reviews the future of its hydroelectric plants.
National Energy News
- Some states are considering ways to speed up the installation of solar panels in empty spaces along highways.
- The North American Electric Reliability Corporation warns of the risk of insufficient electricity supplies in many parts of the country this winter.
- U.S. net-zero goals are on a collision course with utility plans to build more gas-fired power plants, NPR reports.
- The Biden administration releases the first federal building performance standard, which sets a goal of cutting energy use and electrifying equipment and appliances in 30% of federal building space by 2030.
- Milwaukee activists call for the city to ditch We Energies for a municipally-owned utility.
- The Biden administration announces the winners of bids for the rights to develop five offshore wind lease areas off the California Coast.
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.
Madison Energy Investments
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.
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
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).
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 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, 2023. Registration 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.