Michigan EIBC Newsletter: Solar-Plus-Storage in Schools, Interconnection Standards 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:

Storage-Plus-Solar Has Bright Prospects, Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman 

Michigan EIBC member companies have built numerous solar arrays at schools around the state. Now, data from our Energy Storage Roadmap indicate that it makes economic sense for schools to explore adding energy storage to their solar arrays, Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman writes in a new piece in Renewable Energy World.

She breaks down the value proposition of storage-plus-solar for schools, and also describes the policies that can support these projects:

How can schools that are interested in energy storage overcome the initial capital cost barrier? Other states, such as New York, have implemented programs in which schools are eligible for cost-sharing grants for storage installations. Such programs should include additional incentives for schools located in low-income communities, in recognition of the additional cost barriers those schools likely face. Utilities can also play a role by establishing incentive programs or “Pay as You Save” programs where schools could pay back the cost of the storage system over time, eventually taking ownership of the batteries.

Read the whole piece here.

MPSC Considers Interconnection Standards To Enable Distributed Energy

The final version of proposed interconnection standards “will help enable the safe, but timely, interconnection of distributed energy resources [DERs],” Michigan EIBC said in comments recently filed with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). 

Earlier this year, the MPSC had ordered the creation of new standards governing the process for connecting distributed generation to the grid. Now, a final version of these standards is up for review by stakeholders. Michigan EIBC provided extensive input throughout the drafting of the standards.

We pointed to energy storage as a form of DERs that must require special attention in the rules so the ability of storage projects to export power to the grid does not cause roadblocks and barriers for interconnection. For example, “in some cases, customer interconnection requests have been denied because the total capacity of a solar plus storage system is greater than 100 percent of the customers’ annual electricity consumption despite the export (as limited by the inverter or power control system) of the solar plus storage system being far less than that amount,” the comments explain.

The proposed rules do include specific standards and definitions for power-limited export DERs, which DTE and Consumers Energy have opposed in their comments, claiming these standards and definitions could harm safety and reliability. But Michigan EIBC’s comments explained why these fears are unwarranted. Many other states have adopted similar rules without problems.” Consumers Energy and DTE Electric’s “safety arguments” should be seen for what they are — an attempt to dissuade the Commission from adopting meaningful updates to its interconnection rules that will advance customers’ energy independence and resiliency,” our comments said.


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 nowPlease click here for more sponsorship details and contact Brianna Gerard at brianna@mieibc.org with any questions.

Tentative Timeline

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!




The Watt


New Member

Madison Energy Investments
Madison Energy Investments develops, constructs, owns and operates distributed generation assets within the commercial and industrial (C&I) and small utility-scale sectors.

Renewing Members

Capital Power
Capital Power is a growth-oriented North American power producer, publicly traded (TSX:CPX), and headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta and U.S. headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. We create dependable, cost-effective and innovative electricity solutions to power a sustainable future for generations to come. As a group of experts and innovators in our field, we work to deliver responsible power for communities across Canada and the U.S. We develop, acquire, own, and operate power generation facilities using a variety of energy sources. Currently, we own over 7,400 megawatts (MW) of power generation capacity including wind, solar and natural gas. We are a growth-oriented North American power producer, publicly traded (TSX:CPX), and headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta. We create dependable, cost-effective and innovative electricity solutions to power a sustainable future for generations to come. As a group of experts and innovators in our field, we work to deliver responsible power for communities across Canada and the U.S. We develop, acquire, own, and operate power generation facilities using a variety of energy sources. Currently, we own over 6,400 megawatts (MW) of power generation capacity at 26 facilities.

Development Solutions Midwest
Development Solutions Midwest LLC provides services which lead to reducing our clients energy costs. We help reduce energy use through; energy purchasing costs; energy audits; strategic energy plans; ISO 50001; utility incentives; and project management.

Michigan Saves
Michigan Saves is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making energy improvements easy and affordable. We operate as a green bank to offer financing programs that help Michigan residents take control of their energy costs through efficiency and renewable projects.


Michigan Energy News

  • Gov. Whitmer is campaigning on her legacy on climate issues.
  • Calvin University in Grand Rapids is working with a “solar-as-a-service” company to work on its goal for the campus to be carbon neutral by 2057.
  • The town of Dundee, Mich., in Monroe County lost out on a $2.5 billion EV investment from Stellantis, but is working to learn from that experience to win more EV manufacturing capacity in the future.
  • Consumers Energy settles its natural gas rate case before the MPSC.
  • Ingham County Commissioner Chris Trubac says that a federal climate bill would boost Michigan’s economy.
  • A candidate for the Republican nomination for Michigan’s 18th Senate district says “we should move away from coal for power generation and towards nuclear, wind, hydro, and solar generation.”

National Energy News

  • The U.S. has hit the “EV tipping point” where 5% of new-car sales are electric.
  • Coal plants are increasingly being converted to energy storage and renewable energy projects to take advantage of their grid connections and avoid the interconnection process.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy allocates funding from the infrastructure bill to weatherization and electrification in low-income communities.
  • The DOE will also fund six carbon capture and storage demonstration projects to the tune of $2.54 billion.
  • Mississippi regulators create a new incentive for rooftop solar, with a portion of funds set aside for low-income customers.
  • Six in 10 Democrats say that President Biden is not doing enough on climate change, according to new polls.

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.

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

The 10th Annual Energy Innovators Gala will be held on Sept. 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 aaron.kurz@miscipol.org.