- Newsletter (321)
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:
Ford Jobs Announcement and Streamlining of Infrastructure Permitting Are Highlights of Mackinac Policy Conference
Gov. Whitmer, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, representatives of Ford Motor Co. and many more gathered on Mackinac Island this week to announce new steps to bring advanced energy infrastructure jobs to Michigan and position the state to take advantage of federal funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The big news coming out of the Mackinac Policy Conference included Ford’s announcement that it will invest over $2 billion at its Michigan plants, creating over 3,200 jobs. That investment includes expanding production of the all-electric F-150 Lightning. Also at the conference, Gov. Whitmer signed an executive directive that will streamline the permitting process for infrastructure projects like roads, bridges and EV charging stations.
“With today’s directive that increases transparency, boosts inter-departmental coordination, and speeds up the permitting process, I am confident that we can keep moving dirt to rebuild our infrastructure more effectively and efficiently than ever,” Gov. Whitmer said in a statement. The directive requires state departments and agencies to create publicly available permitting schedules and instructs the Michigan Infrastructure Office to develop a public dashboard to track progress of projects and ensure that all projects meet environmental and climate resilience goals.
Just last week Michigan EIBC had called for the state to take steps that would complement the many opportunities in the IIJA for transportation electrification, smart grid investments, energy efficiency and weatherization and more, as cataloged in our Advanced Energy Infrastructure: A Roadmap for Implementation in Michigan toolkit.
Michigan EIBC and AEE: IIJA Is Opportunity for New Statewide Advanced Energy Strategy
Michigan regulators, government agencies, utilities and other stakeholders need to work together to form a comprehensive strategy for leveraging the IIJA and its billions of dollars in grants to transform advanced energy in the state, Michigan EIBC and Advanced Energy Economy said in comments submitted to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) this week.
The comments were in response to an MPSC order asking for feedback on what specific funding opportunities the Commission should help facilitate and what parties it should work with to do that. Overall, our comments called for more holistic planning. “Major investments in transportation electrification and renewable energy integration will dramatically transform electric loads. As such, the utilities and the Commission need to coordinate amongst themselves and with other agencies and stakeholders to prepare for that future,” the comments said.
An example of the kind of transformation that can take place with the right planning is the law’s billions of dollars in grants for measures to improve resilience. While the utilities are emphasizing grid-hardening efforts like tree trimming to reduce power outages, proper coordination of IIJA funds can drive more innovative ways to enhance reliability. The IIJA’s “Section 40107 presents an opportunity to expand grid resiliency investments beyond vegetation management. Distributed energy resources, like microgrids, demand response technologies, solar, and energy storage, including solar plus storage and vehicle-to-grid technologies can be used to support resiliency. Efforts should also target low-income and disadvantaged communities that face the highest propensity to suffer from frequent and prolonged outages. In addition, these resources could be used to support critical public facilities, like hospitals, that cannot be without power in extreme weather events,” the comments said.
Michigan EIBC and AEE also described how the MPSC, utilities and the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification can work together on formula funding on EV infrastructure and how the MPSC can use the IIJA as an opportunity to “break down any remaining barriers to meaningful collaboration and pursue state-of-the-art solutions, including new and innovative technologies, to fully leverage the state’s investments in [utility energy waste reduction programs] and [the Weatherization Assistance Program].”
Almost Sold Out! Commercial & Industrial Solar Convening On June 21
Join us on June 21, 2022 for a public convening in Southfield, Michigan, to discuss the landscape for commercial and industrial solar energy in Michigan. This collaborative event will include presentations from Centrepolis Accelerator of Lawrence Technological University and the Institute for Energy Innovation focused on the findings of a Michigan Commercial & Industrial Renewable Energy Roadmap developed for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. Through interactive participant discussions, the project team hopes to gain insights and recommendations regarding commercial and industrial solar energy including opportunities and challenges in Michigan.
This event will also include an optional tour of the Centrepolis Accelerator. Register now!
Morehead Energy is an energy and sustainability consulting firm dedicated to making buildings function better.
Oracle offers a complete suite of operational applications and cloud services for electric, natural gas, and water utilities world-wide that automate core operational processes and enable compliance in a dynamic and changing industry. With the April 2016 acquisition of Opower, Oracle incorporates industry-leading behavioral energy efficiency, behavioral demand response, and customer engagement capabilities. To date, these energy programs have resulted in over seventeen terawatt-hours of cost-effective energy savings from energy efficiency and enabled over $2 billion in customer bill savings.
Michigan Energy News
- Gongwer covers the release of Michigan EIBC’s IIJA toolkit.
- MPSC Chair Dan Scripps says he has been “dismayed” by the “sky-is-falling nature” of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s (MISO) statements about potential power shortages this summer.
- The solution to electricity supply shortages in Michigan is more clean energy, not less, the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Samantha Williams writes.
- Ann Arbor’s Solarize program has helped 430 homes go solar since late 2019.
- Public-private partnerships will be critical for Michigan to compete in EV manufacturing, the Detroit News editorial page writes.
- The city of East Lansing plans to use federal funds for the first phase of a solar project to be installed on the city’s Department of Public Works building.
National Energy News
- The small modular nuclear reactor developer NuScale Power has gone public, a development that will likely shed light on the economics of the novel technology.
- FERC and state regulatory commissioners have been working on solutions to the problem of long interconnection queues for clean energy projects.
- Industrial customers in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) region are asking FERC to change MISO rules so they can be spared from high capacity prices when they reduce electricity use.
- New York lawmakers pass a bill requiring more efficient appliances, expected to save New Yorkers $800 million annually on utility bills by 2025.
- Caterpillar announces a hydrogen-fueled combined heat and power (CHP) project with Minnesota nonprofit utility District Energy St. Paul.
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.
Position: Energy Strategy Engineer. Warren, Mich.
- Partner with the Site Selection Team to help identify new locations in the United States and negotiate all necessary energy agreements for new facilities, including energy supply agreements, green tariffs, and interconnection agreements
- Actively manage commercial relationships for GM facilities located in a variety of energy markets in the United States
- Monitor regulatory processes and influence rate-making and energy supply solutions offered by utilities, other suppliers, and market operators
- Develop and grow relationships with key utility partners, market participants, regulators, policy makers and other stakeholders
- Partner with legal resources to develop and refine commercial arrangements for existing facilities while managing the structures required to serve our facilities with reliable, cost-effective, sustainable energy
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 June 15: The 2022 Michigan Energy Summit is a full-day energy conference that brings building owners and operators from all over the state in a peer-to-peer exchange. This year, it will be hosted at the beautiful LEED-certified City Flats Hotel in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, MI. Explore how Michigan businesses are achieving Net Zero Energy, creating healthy and efficient workspaces, and saving thousands on energy efficiency upgrades and utility bills. More details and registration here.
Join the Institute for Energy Innovation and Michigan EIBC member Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University on June 21 for the Commercial & Industrial Solar Energy Convening at the Accelerator’s office in Southfield. The event’s discussion will focus on the findings of a Michigan Commercial & Industrial Renewable Energy Roadmap developed for Michigan EGLE. Register here.
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 Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing FOA has a deadline of May 27 for letters of intent and July 1 for full applications.
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 Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations has released a Request for Information to solicit feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on issues related to Section 41001 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which appropriated $505 million to advance energy storage systems toward widespread commercial deployment by lowering the costs and increasing the duration of energy storage resources. Replies to this RFI are due by June 16.
Michigan EIBC member Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University is accepting applications for its C3 Accelerator. Apply here by June 30. C3 is a growth stage Accelerator with up to $1.6M in funding in the form of grants, investments, and services to support the product development and scaling of Cleantech, Climatech, and Circular Economy technologies.
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.