- Newsletter (377)
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:
Groups Hail Senate Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act
The Senate’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) this week is being hailed by the advanced energy community as a historic moment that will reshape our industry for decades to come.
Analyses suggest that the tax credits, grants and loans in the Act will lead to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40% by 2030, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said in a statement.
Analysis from Michigan EIBC member and national partner Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) finds the IRA, when combined with last year’s bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will deliver $142 billion for Michigan. That represents a nine-fold return on the clean energy dollars the IRA would invest in our state, creating over 880,000 jobs (measured in job years) in clean energy, transportation, and manufacturing. It will also save Michigan residents roughly $6.7 billion on energy and transportation costs.
RMI (formerly Rocky Mountain Institute) said the bill “offers an unprecedented opportunity to lower energy costs, increase investment in clean energy economic opportunities, and stimulate jobs and economic growth. For the world, the U.S. move will likely lead other nations to cut emissions faster.” RMI pointed out how the IRA will have dramatic effects on several areas where the U.S. needs to cut emissions:
- The Act would… “stimulate supply and demand for electric vehicles, making it more affordable to both build and purchase EVs.”
- The bill’s “residential tax credits — which can be used for heat pumps, electric water heaters, energy audits, electrical upgrades, and better insulation — could save 103 million households $37 billion a year on energy bills.”
- One lesser-known measure would “increase the availability and affordability of Made-in-the-USA sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), a crucial low carbon fuel,” RMI pointed out.
- The bill offers tax credits to spur on non-emitting industrial production methods and boosts incentives for direct air capture technology
- It also has new measures to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry
The House is expected to pass the bill this week, after which the work of implementing the bill’s many provisions begins. A recent report from RMI, Realizing America’s Clean Energy Opportunity Accelerating Clean Regional Economies, lays out a vision of “regionally tailored investment strategies” to promote regional development from clean energy investment.
Solar Taxation Bills Look To Address Local Government Concerns
Two bills introduced in Lansing that would allow for payments in lieu of taxes (PILT) for utility-scale solar systems over 2 MW in size are designed to garner more local support than previous, similar legislation, MiBiz reported recently.
Governor Whitmer vetoed PILT legislation in 2020 amid concerns that local governments would not have the discretion to approve or disapprove a PILT application. As Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman explained to MiBiz, the new bills, Senate Bill 1106 and Senate Bill 1107, make it clear that local governments would have that authority.
“Both for local governments and developers and utilities, there’s huge benefits for doing [PILT] because of the long-term certainty,” Sherman is quoted as saying. Currently, in ad valorem property tax systems, local governments and project developers often end up in disputes over the right value for property taxes for a project. “As a result, tax payments are held up over time, folks are stuck litigating instead of receiving money planned,” she said.
After Governor Whitmer’s veto of the 2020 bills, Michigan EIBC “went to work connecting with local government advocates to reach common ground. That included several months of work groups and meeting with local assessors who have been grappling with these projects, said Herasanna Richards, legislative associate for state and federal affairs at the Michigan Municipal League,” the story explains.
Senate Bill 1106 was introduced by Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) and Senate Bill 1107 was introduced by Kevin Daley (R-Lum).
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.
5:00 pm | Cocktail hour + Networking (open bar + food trucks serving)
5:30 pm | VIP reception (open bar + food trucks serving)
6:00 pm | Keynote Speaker + Awards Program
7:30 pm | Continued Networking + Dessert & Coffee/Tea Bar
8:00 pm | Event Concludes
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!
Michigan Energy News
- Ford and DTE say the automaker’s newly announced purchase of 650 MW of solar energy is the largest-ever purchase of renewable energy from a utility in the country.
- Consumers Energy will power 1,274 government buildings with renewable energy under a new agreement between the utility and the state.
- Once the tallest wind turbine in the U.S., a turbine erected near Traverse City in 1996 is being retired and replaced by a solar project expansion.
- Read this Q&A with the Michigan Tech researchers about their ongoing work studying the potential to convert old mines into pumped storage facilities.
- Inventev LLC, a startup based in Wayne State University’s TechTown incubator, wins a $1 million federal grant to work with partners, including Michigan EIBC member NextEnergy, to develop standards for electric buses.
- Dozens of rural Michigan schools are applying for an EPA electric school bus grant program.
National Energy News
- Solar plus storage had a “breakout year” in 2021, with more hybrid PV solar and energy storage capacity than standalone storage capacity operating by the end of the year, according to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
- New jobs at wind and solar facilities can replace the jobs lost from retiring coal-fired power plants, even assuming that all the new jobs must be within 50 miles of the retiring power plants, according to a new University of Michigan study.
- Several coal-fired power plants, including one in Wisconsin on Lake Michigan, are delaying planned retirements.
- The city of Chicago signs a $422 million agreement with Constellation Energy LLC to power all city facilities with renewable energy.
- Electric bus orders are growing but parts shortages are making it harder for manufacturers to keep up.
- A new study reveals the impact on the mental and physical health of residential utility customers who struggle to pay their bills.
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.
Environmental Engineer 12 (Building Trade Industry Engineer). Lansing, Mich.
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.
Position: Environmental Engineer Specialist 13. Lansing, Mich.
This position serves as a state-wide specialist on clean energy manufacturing. The position works directly with Michigan’s manufacturing sector, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Next Energy Center, Michigan’s Clean Technology Centers, Michigan’s universities and colleges, and the Department of Energy’s (U.S. DOE) National Laboratories and Office of Technology Transition. It also serves as an expert advisor on energy waste reduction and the environmental specialist on all projects requiring Title 42 of the United State Code (U.S.C.), Section 4321 et seq., National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), approval from the U.S. DOE.
Michigan and National Energy Events
The Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University invites you to attend the C3 Summit, a showcase of Cleantech, Climatech & Circular Economy Technology Companies and Leaders. This event will feature a pitch competition from cleantech companies, to be judged by a panel that includes Liesl Clark, director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). Being held in Lathrup Village in Metro Detroit onAug. 25, the Showcase is open for registration here.
The 10th Annual Energy Innovators Gala will be held on Sept. 28 at The Eastern in Detroit. Get tickets here.
The Detroit 2030 District is hosting the 2030 Districts Network International Summit in Detroit on October 4-6. Register here.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced the Advancing Equity Through Workforce Partnerships funding opportunity, “which will award $10 million for the development of collaborative workforce programs that will facilitate the rapid deployment of solar energy technologies while supporting an inclusive workforce with opportunities for union membership.” Applicants must file a mandatory letter of intent by Sept. 13.
The DOE issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the $750 million Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Recycling Grant Program. The program aims to support manufacturers to produce clean energy products or deploy emissions reduction equipment at facilities in coal communities. RFI responses are due Sept. 16.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Community Geothermal Heating and Cooling Design and Deployment Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will award $300,000–$13 million for “projects that help communities design and deploy geothermal district heating and cooling systems, create related workforce training, and identify and address environmental justice concerns.” The application deadline is Oct. 11.
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.