Michigan EIBC Newsletter: Laura Sherman in Energy News Network 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:

Read Dr. Laura Sherman in Energy News Network On the Future of Energy Storage in Michigan

 Michigan needs significantly more energy storage, and the Institute for Energy Innovation (IEI) has just released a roadmap for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) that shows how the state can drive storage deployment forward.
In a new piece published by Energy News Network, Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman delves into the deeper insights of the roadmap, including why Michigan, with its problems with poor electric reliability, could particularly benefit from more energy storage:
DTE and Consumers Energy want to spend several billion dollars apiece to improve their distribution grids over the next several years, and ratepayers may have to shoulder most of those costs on their electric bills. No doubt much of that spending will be necessary, but meeting the roadmap’s storage targets would allow Michigan to improve reliability at a lower cost and with lower emissions. Storage increases resiliency and power quality by providing instantaneously available backup power. It also decreases the need to build new expensive power plants and relieves grid congestion, working as a quicker and often less costly alternative to building new transmission and distribution power lines.
Read the whole piece here.  


Vehicle-To-Grid, Bidirectional Charging In The Spotlight with GM Pilot and Energy Storage Roadmap

One of the most popular breakout rooms at our Energy Storage Convening this month was about vehicle-to-grid, bidirectional charging, otherwise known as V2G, which allows for both the charging and pulling of power from EV batteries. This technology expands the ability of EVs to potentially perform grid services similar to other energy storage systems. The Institute for Energy Innovation’s recently released Energy Storage Roadmap for Michigan EGLE includes recommendations to enhance the use of V2G technology. 

V2G primarily exists in the pilot phase around the country, and a major new pilot project was just announced by Michigan EIBC member General Motors, in cooperation with California utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). PG&E will use GM’s EVs like the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt and the 2022 GMC Hummer EV to test those vehicles’ batteries’ ability to provide services to the grid when they are plugged in. The pilot will include in-field testing at a small group of PG&E customer homes, and could move to larger trials by the end of the year.

“Imagine a future where everyone is driving an electric vehicle – and where that EV serves as a backup power option at home and more broadly as a resource for the grid,” PG&E CEO (and former Consumers Energy CEO) Patti Poppe was quoted as saying by the Detroit Free Press. “Not only is this a huge advancement for electric reliability and climate resiliency, it’s yet another advantage of clean-powered EVs.”

The Energy Storage Roadmap recommended that the state of Michigan encourage pilot EV fleet programs to allow fleets, including fleets of school buses, to provide storage benefits to the grid when not being used for transportation. “Public school bus fleets are ideal for early stage V2G deployment,” the roadmap said. “Electric school bus fleets are idle in the middle of the day, in the evening, and in the summer, and – in general – their total trip mileage is minimal. According to the World Resources Institute, electrifying the entirety of the U.S. school bus fleet alone can unlock 72 GWh of energy storage for utilities via V2G technologies.” The roadmap also recommended that “the [Michigan Public Service Commission] should encourage Michigan’s investor-owned utilities to develop pilot programs to test third-party financing and innovative business model constructs for fleet applications of V2G technology.”  

UCS Case Study Reveals Advantages of Microgrids in Low-Income Community

Last year the Union for Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Highland Park, Michigan-based nonprofit Soulardarity released a report about how community solar and energy efficiency could provide 100% clean energy to the city of Highland Park. Now, UCS has a new study of how one neighborhood in Highland Park, Parker Village, could turn itself into a microgrid with onsite solar and energy storage and achieve energy independence.

“Parker Village’s interest in a microgrid stems from a desire for community independence and self-sufficiency. It envisions a neighborhood powered by onsite solar and energy storage batteries to generate its own power versus relying on utilities’ large, often polluting, fossil fuel power plants,” UCS Lead Midwest Energy Analyst James Gignac wrote in a blog post. Highland Park, separate from the city of Detroit but surrounded by it, is also in an area in which the distribution grid has been underinvested. As a result, the area has severe reliability issues, making a microgrid appealing.

UCS studied Parker Village’s proposal to redevelop a former elementary school into a community center, build rooftop solar, battery storage and EV charging stations and switch to electrified heat pumps. “Utilities and state and federal policymakers should continue encouraging the development of microgrids in places such as Parker Village and throughout the country through grant programs, technical resources, and policies that promote solar and battery deployment to ensure that projects can be powered by clean resources,” the UCS case study concluded. “Together, we can make microgrids a key part of a new model of supplying and consuming electricity—one that empowers communities and neighborhoods to choose clean energy, generate electricity locally, and increase resiliency.”

The Institute for Energy Innovation’s recently-released Energy Storage Roadmap for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) also looked at how organizations can benefit from creating microgrid islands separate from the rest of the grid. Over the next 10 years, an increasing number of commercial buildings, particularly large energy users like schools, hospitals and large hotels, will find it cost-effective to install battery systems coupled with solar panels so they can function as islands and run on their own power during a utility power outage.  

RSVP Now for the 10th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Conference

Tickets are on sale for the Michigan Energy Innovators Conference on April 26 at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing. Typically our most popular event of the year, the Michigan Energy Innovators Conference provides attendees an opportunity to network, learn about innovations in advanced energy, and get an overview on the latest policy developments. This event includes: main-stage panels, several break-out panels with dozens of expert panelists, TED-style talks, and networking. 

For information on sponsorship opportunities and benefits, please click here or contact Brianna Gerard at brianna@mieibc.org.



Tony G. Reames was most recently a professor of environment and sustainability at the University of Michigan, where he established the Urban Energy Justice Lab to conduct research and develop solutions on the production and persistence of racial, income, and geographic disparities in energy access, affordability, decision making, and participation. Reames served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and worked in both the private and public sectors as a licensed professional engineer. He earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, a Master of Engineering Management from Kansas State University, and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University of Kansas.


  • Peering Into the Crystal Ball: What the 2022 Election Could Mean for Energy Policy
    • Moderator: JR Tolbert, Advanced Energy Economy
    • Dr. Deeana Ahmed, Our Next Energy
    • Lauren Gibbons, MLive
    • Zachary Gorchow, Gongwer
  • Harnessing Federal Resources: Opportunities to Enable Michigan’s Energy Future
  • Floods, Blizzards, and Heat Waves: The Role of DERs in Improving Reliability and Resilience
  • Energy Storage: Exploring the Future of the “Bacon of the Grid”
  • All Energy is Local: The Role of City, Township, and County Government


Attendees of our Conference are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the start of the event. The CDC defines fully vaccinated as two weeks after receiving a second shot of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. We will ask for proof of vaccine or negative test at registration. We will follow CDC guidelines with regards to COVID-19 and keep everyone updated as we get closer to the Conference. Michigan EIBC strongly suggests all attendees be either vaccinated or wear a mask inside the venue at all times if not fully vaccinated.








Renewing Member

Helios Solar

Helios Solar provides turnkey solutions for Utility, Commercial, and Residential Photovoltaic Installations. Our founding principles of Environment, Economics, and Engineering guide our practices with the goal of designing and constructing the most efficient, value driven solar installations possible.  


Michigan Energy News

  • An analysis by ProPublica and Outlier Media how often DTE disconnected customers from electricity during the pandemic.
  • The Michigan Strategic Fund approves $189 million in incentives for LG Energy Solution’s planned expansion of its battery factory in Holland.
  • Despite that expansion in Michigan, LG Energy Solution, as part of a joint venture with Stellantis NV, announces significantly more investment into a new battery manufacturing plant across the river from Detroit in Windsor, Canada.
  • A webcast on the future of Michigan’s energy landscape and what it means for economic growth features Simon Whitelocke, president of ITC Michigan (an operating subsidiary of Michigan EIBC member ITC Holdings).
  • As part of a settlement reached between the utility and several environmental groups, Consumers Energy will expand low-income energy efficiency programs.
  • new report from the Michigan Climate Action Network identifies at least 16 Michigan counties, cities and townships that have set carbon neutrality or 100% renewable energy goals.

National Energy News

  • Rising gas prices make the scores of EV charging stations being installed across the country more attractive to consumers.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission proposes a draft rule that would require public companies to report their greenhouse gas emissions and inform investors about the risks to their business associated with climate change.
  • Owners of over 3.2 GW of coal-fired power capacity in the territory of PJM recently began the process of retiring those power plants.
  • Some coal mining companies are using additional funds from a recent rise in coal prices to try to add renewable energy to coal sites and take other steps to reduce their emissions footprint.
  • The startup Span, led by former Tesla head of Products Arch Rao, receives equity funding for its business making smart electrical panels that coordinate solar panels, backup batteries, EV chargers and heating and cooling systems.
  • New York state regulators issue an order that improves the value proposition for distributed energy resources.


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.

Lean & Green Michigan 

Position: Communications and Business Associate
 Lean & Green Michigan is seeking a motivated and self-directed individual to join the team, communicating through a variety of media about all aspects of the Lean & Green Michigan PACE program. The successful candidate should have excellent writing and communication skills, experience with social media, enthusiasm for working in the business community, environmental policy, renewable energy and energy efficiency, attention to detail, and strong desire to deploy energy and water efficiency and renewable energy in Michigan.

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.

Ranger Power

Position: Development Intern

Ranger Power is looking for a full-time summer intern for the summer of 2022. The Development Intern will be involved in all aspects of solar power project development, helping to review and prepare real estate contracts, completing various mapping exercises, and preparing presentations for various team members, and gaining exposure to the development process assisting the Michigan development team.  This position provides individuals with an opportunity to gain exposure to both the development and project management sides of the business. Candidates should have some interest and possibly familiarity with the renewable energy industry and real estate, and excitement about furthering Ranger Power’s mission to increase community-supported solar power throughout the Midwest. Please email a resume and cover letter to careers@rangerpower.com.  

Michigan and National Energy Events

The Michigan Chemistry Council and Ohio Chemistry Technology Council are co-hosting a complimentary webinar on March 29 aimed at assisting chemical and related manufacturers in understanding and implementing these commitments. This program will focus on trends in corporate sustainability goals and specific reporting platforms, the role of manufacturing sites and EHS functions in implementing these goals, and specific options to reduce carbon footprints (through efficiency and lower-carbon energy supplies) for Michigan and Ohio-based operations. Register here.

The 10th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Conference will be held April 26 at the Kellogg Conference Center at MSU in East Lansing. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available now.

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.  


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.

The University of Michigan (U-M) is committed to achieving carbon neutrality for all Scope 2 emissions (purchased electricity) for the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses by 2025. To meet this goal, U-M seeks to procure 100 percent of purchased electricity from renewable (solar and/or wind) energy sources. U-M is seeking proposals for a Power Purchase Agreement or a Michigan Public Service Commission-regulated renewable electricity option. The RFP deadline is April 13. For more information contact Senior Procurement Agent William D. Erwin at wierwin@umich.edu.

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.

Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M), via Charles River Associates (CRA) serving as the Independent Monitor, has released the 2022 All-Source RFP which seeks additional generation and capacity resources consistent with its 2021 IRP, including about 800 MW of wind, about 500 MW of solar and supplemental capacity resources. To view and download the RFP Documents, please navigate to the Documents section of the RFP website located at www.IMAllSourceRFP.com. Questions regarding this RFP should be emailed to I&M2022RFP@aep.com with cc to IMAllSourceRFP@CRAI.com. CRA will post a list of the non-confidential “Questions and Answers” to its website on a weekly basis following the issuance of the RFP until the Proposal Due Date. Proposals are due April 21.

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

American Electric Power (AEP) is issuing an RFP that “seeks up to 800 MW of Wind resources, 500 MW of Solar resources, and other qualified capacity resources from thermal, standalone storage, emerging technologies, and other capacity resources.” AEP subsidiary Indiana Michigan Power identified the need for supply-side generation in its RFP. 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.