Michigan EIBC Newsletter: Ventower and the Renewable Supply Chain, Semiconductor Manufacturing Bill 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:

Biden, Gov. Whitmer Tout Semiconductor Manufacturing Bill

This week, the headquarters of Michigan EIBC member Hemlock Semiconductor hosted an event celebrating the recently-passed CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, a $52 billion bipartisan bill meant to expand domestic manufacturing of the semiconductor chips used in a variety of applications, including electric and autonomous vehicles.

While COVID-19 prevented President Biden from attending the signing in-person as was originally planned, he appeared virtually, and Gov. Whitmer spoke live at the event in Hemlock.

“The bill will supercharge our efforts to make semiconductors here in America,” Biden said in a virtual address at the event, which marked Gov. Whitmer’s signing of an executive directive aimed at implementing the Act in Michigan.

“I’m told that one third of all the chips in the world use the polysilicon made right here in your factory. Imagine if we had more of these kinds of factories doing some of the most sophisticated manufacturing in the world, employing thousands of workers, including UA plumbers and pipefitters, IBEW electricians, sheet metal workers, ironworkers,” the president said.

“We know that it’s important for us to make things in America. I knew the impact that this would have on Michigan and I am incredibly proud to see it passed,” Whitmer said in her speech at Hemlock. “With the executive directive that I will sign shortly, we will compete for every project, every program and every resource.”

The same day, Whitmer signed that directive instructing state departments and agencies “to leverage all available resources from the CHIPS and Science Act to continue bringing in projects and jobs to Michigan,” the governor’s office said.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) hailed the directive and Act, saying in a statement the actions would bolster Michigan’s leadership in the semiconductor industry. Michigan is in the top 10 states for the number of jobs in the semiconductor workforce, with 11% growth projected over the next five years, MEDC noted.

Michigan’s U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, who were major supporters of the legislation in Congress, penned an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press that emphasized what the bill would mean for advanced mobility in the state. “We made sure that there is specific funding to manufacture the type of chips used by our auto industry. More chips will be needed as we shift toward electric and autonomous vehicles. A steady supply of chips will help increase the supply of new vehicles and drive down prices. And it will ensure that Michigan autoworkers – who are the best in the world – can stay on the job,” they wrote.

Source: Port of Monroe.

Ventower and Port of Monroe Shoring Up Domestic Renewable Supply Chain

Manufacturing is a critical component of the advanced energy industry in Michigan, and policies have made that happen. A story of policy working alongside Michigan manufacturing ingenuity is unfolding at the Port of Monroe, where steel fabricator and Michigan EIBC member Ventower Industries is launching new ways to keep the supply chain for wind energy projects moving.

Ventower is using the Port to ship wind turbine towers by barge across the Great Lakes to the Port of Oswego, N.Y., where they will be delivered to a wind project in upstate New York. This work is an example of a broader effort by the Port, Ventower and terminal operator DRM to “develop and expand new renewable energy supply chain opportunities during the 2022 shipping season,” the Port said in a statement.

The news is also a milestone for Ventower, as it marks a key order where it has led and delivered its products over the Great Lakes, Ventower Vice President for Sales and Business Development Scott Viciana told Michigan EIBC. While shipping by waterborne transport has been something the company has long explored, the option became more attractive this year. There were long-term factors at play: for example, wind turbines have been getting taller and taller as wind projects keep improving how efficiently they produce power.  

These larger designs can fit on barges more easily than trucks while maximizing efficiency. “Three to four or even six towers per trip is a real cost advantage,” Viciana 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

Mutually Human

Mutually Human is a full-service software development and digital transformation consultancy that specializes in custom software, data analytics, and intelligent automation. Our U.S.-based team of technology strategists, business analysts, designers, engineers, and developers craft powerful, human-friendly software for organizations of all sizes looking to launch new digital products, identify processes ready for automation, or simply better understand their business. In short, Mutually Human works with clients to create and implement technology that people want to use, improves business outcomes, and empowers organizations to do more with less.  

Renewing Members


We design and implement programs that reduce costs, protect people and the environment, and ensure the benefits of clean and efficient energy use reach those who need them most. Elevate Energy seeks to create a world in which everyone has clean and affordable heat, power, and water in their homes and communities — no matter who they are or where they live. Making the benefits and services of the clean energy economy accessible to everyone is how we fight climate change while supporting equity. We want to work with everyone we can to help them reduce their energy costs and improve their quality of life — from homeowners, renters, and building owners, to nonprofit organizations, utilities, and municipalities. Our team builds strong connections in the places we work and delivers high-quality programs and services that contribute to healthy, thriving communities.

Ryter Cooperative Industries (RCI)
Ryter Cooperative Industries (RCI), is a Detroit based minority-owned social impact company that provides customized engineering project management and educational services for community-based projects around clean energy development and empowerment. RCI works to bridge the gap in conversations between community and industry and specializes in energy-oriented solutions with a particular focus on solar technologies. These solutions include on-grid and off-grid solar assessments and designs, installations of solar lighting, design-build of solar internet and charging stations, and installation of solar systems for residential, commercial, public parks, and municipal applications.


Michigan Energy News

  • “When we invest in the future of mobility and clean energy and face climate change head-on, we can create tens of thousands of jobs, build prosperity in every region of our state, and ensure that we remain competitive for future business investment and economic development,” Gov. Whitmer says in a statement that also quoted Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman about the recent U.S. Energy and Employment Report that found Michigan added more energy industry jobs in 2021 than any other state.
  • The Michigan Department of Transportation submits a $110 million plan for the installation of 127 fast EV chargers to the federal government to gain funding from the infrastructure bill.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act would spur investments into Michigan, Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Margrethe Kearney, senior attorney for the Environmental Law & Policy Center, say.
  • Wisconsin joins Indiana, Illinois and Michigan to collaborate on the Lake Michigan EV Circuit network of charging stations.
  • DTE is increasingly using diesel generators as contingency options to keep the power on in parts of its service territory while it fixes the distribution grid. 

National Energy News

  • Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., becomes the final Democratic senator to declare support for the Inflation Reduction Act
  • The long-delayed Vogtle unit 3, the first of two new nuclear reactors at Southern Co.’s Vogtle plant in Georgia, appears ready to finally begin operation.
  • First Solar CEO Mark Widmar says that incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act could lead his company to expand manufacturing capacity in the U.S.
  • Multiple factors, including the tariff investigation, economic uncertainties and supply chain disruptions, explain why the rate of new solar and wind project construction slowed in the second quarter of the year, according to a report from the American Clean Power Association.
  • Sen. Joe Manchin releases a list of potential policies for environmental permitting reform that includes the creation of “a president’s priority list of 25 projects — including related to fossil fuels, nuclear energy, carbon capture and renewables,” E&E News reports.
  • Xcel Energy releases a $300 million EV plan, including building 730 new fast-charging stations across Minnesota.

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.

Michigan EGLE

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.

Michigan EGLE

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 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 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 aaron.kurz@miscipol.org.