Michigan EIBC Newsletter: Whitmer Unveils Mobility Plan, Laura Sherman in Renewable Energy World 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:


State Announces Mobility Workforce and Infrastructure Strategy

Yesterday Gov. Whitmer unveiled the MI Future Mobility Plan, a “unified approach and strategy to grow Michigan’s economy, invest in our workforce, and empower communities across the state through responsive policy and programming that prepares us for the future,” in the words of the governor. The plan was developed by the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification and the Council on Future Mobility and Electrification.

The plan consists of three pillars:

Pillar 1: Transition and Grow Our Mobility Industry and Workforce

  • Achieve strong employment growth in mobility and automotive-focused sectors by creating 20,000 new jobs by 2026 while increasing the median wage of mobility sector jobs.
  • Add 7,000 workers with mobility credentials by 2030 — while increasing diversity in the sector’s workforce.
  • Ensure Michigan maintains a resilient automotive and parts manufacturing sector that supports at least 170,000 jobs through 2030.

Pillar 2: Provide Safer, Greener and More Accessible Transportation Infrastructure

  • By 2030, deploy 100K EV chargers to support 2M EVs and improve access to H2 infrastructure.
  • Maintain at least 80% of EV charging off-peak to minimize impacts to the grid.
  • Reduce congestion and traffic crash rates statewide by 2026.
  • Provide residents with consistent access to mobility-as-a-service options across Michigan’s 77 transit agencies by 2025.

Pillar 3: Lead the World in Mobility and Electrification Policy and Innovation

  • Maintain #1 state ranking for mobility and electrification R&D spend.
  • Become a top 10 state for growth in venture capital funding by 2026.
  • Become a top 10 state for federal investments related to mobility and vehicle electrification.
  • Lead the nation in electric and automated vehicle friendliness through responsive policies.

Read more about the plan here.


Detroit Region Wins Federal Grant To Foster Advanced Mobility Innovation

A coalition of Detroit companies and organizations and the State of Michigan have been awarded $52.2 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce competition for six projects “to transform the Detroit area’s legacy automotive industry into a highly competitive advanced mobility cluster,” as the website for the competition, the Build Back Better Regional Challenge, describes.

Michigan EIBC helped with the grant application from the Global Epicenter of Mobility initiative, led by the Detroit Regional Partnership. The grant is one of the largest of the 21 winners out of 60 nationwide finalists.

Recipients of the grant will do the following with the funding:

  • The Detroit Regional Partnership will “increase site readiness to attract major mobility projects,” according to a statement from Gov. Whitmer’s office.
  • The Office of Future Mobility and Electrification will “increase equitable access to the state’s world-class testing and proving assets.”
  • The Southeast Michigan Community Alliance, in coordination with MichiganWorks, will “help existing companies meet evolving high-tech talent needs, offset retirement losses, and support career pathway advancement for historically excluded communities.”
  • TechTown, an entrepreneurship hub founded by Wayne State University, Henry Ford Health System and Michigan EIBC member General Motors, will “accelerate the growth of mobility startups that drive innovation to fill gaps in the mobility value chain.”
  • The University of Michigan Economic Growth Institute will “help existing small- to medium-size manufacturers transition to the electric vehicle market through a new Advanced Mobility Supply Chain Transformation Center.”

“For a century, we have led the way when it comes to cutting-edge manufacturing, and today’s investment will capitalize on our core strengths by supporting six projects to improve site readiness, bolster workforce development, and support innovative startups,” Gov. Whitmer said in the statement. “Together, we are building on our bipartisan economic development efforts, unique mobility and electrification initiatives, and continued, strong auto investments. This collaboration between the state and several local stakeholders led by the Detroit Regional Partnership will help us keep growing Michigan’s economy, creating good-paying jobs, and investing in every region of our state.”

Read Dr. Laura Sherman on the DTE DG Tariff in Renewable Energy World

Earlier this year DTE proposed one of the most punitive tariffs for distributed generation customers in the country. Michigan EIBC and other groups continue to file testimony opposing this tariff in DTE Electric’s rate case, which will likely be decided by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) later this year.

In the meantime, the story of DTE’s tariff is getting national attention, as shown by a new article in Renewable Energy World written by Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman. 

As she writes, DTE has proposed that the tariff should be agreed to in exchange for a small increase in the distributed generation cap. Accepting such a deal would be a big mistake, Sherman said.

“Customers, renewable energy advocates and Michiganders in general should not accept this compromise or any similar compromise that would institute this terrible proposal and harm rooftop solar customers as a result,” she writes.

Read the whole piece here.


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


Michigan Energy News

  • The new owner of the Palisades nuclear plant applies for a federal grant that would allow it to reopen the plant.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratory and Michigan Technological University hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new solar panel testing facility in the Upper Peninsula.
  • A new report finds that Michigan is second to Texas in the most weather-related power outages since 2000.
  • The Detroit News investigates how DTE is using state subsidies to expand natural gas connections in rural areas.
  • President Biden is the opening speaker at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
  • Attorney General Dana Nessel and Consumers Energy settle a case involving gas utility plant depreciation, a settlement that Nessel says will save Consumers gas customers millions.

National Energy News

  • The Biden administration approves $900 million for EV charging networks across 35 states, part of its National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program.
  • McDonald’s signs a virtual power purchase agreement with Michigan EIBC member EDF Renewables that will lead to the electricity consumption of about 1,200 restaurants being met with low-carbon energy.
  • By offering direct pay of tax credits to tax-exempt entities, the Inflation Reduction Act will transform project financing and likely lead to more nonprofits taking out bridge loans to add solar arrays and other types of renewable energy.
  • Canary Media publishes a guide to what exactly the term “a just transition” means.
  • Low hydroelectric production is leading China to boost coal-fired power generation and mine and import more coal.
  • U.S. liquified natural gas exports are set to expand as three new export terminals begin construction.

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.

5 Lakes Energy

Consultant or Senior Consultant

5 Lakes Energy is hiring a Consultant or Senior Consultant (depending on relevant experience and skills) to help advance clean energy policy in the Midwest. As a small, well-respected firm with broad expertise and a range of sought-after practice areas, the Consultant should expect to work on a wide variety of projects in the effort to mitigate climate change and accelerate the clean energy transition, with a focus on analytical modeling to calculate social, economic, and environmental impacts of policies in the energy sector and to move electric utilities to fully decarbonized but reliable and affordable power supply. 5 Lakes Energy works consistently in Michigan but also engages elsewhere across the Midwest and the US.

5 Lakes Energy

Expert Consultant

5 Lakes Energy is hiring an Expert Consultant to help advance clean energy policy in the Midwest. As a small, well-respected firm with broad expertise and a range of sought-after practice areas, the Expert Consultant should expect to work on a wide variety of projects in the effort to mitigate climate change and accelerate the clean energy transition, with a focus on providing expert advice and testimony in the areas of electric utility cost-of-service and rate design, particularly in relation to the use of clean energy technologies, such as distributed generation, energy storage, heat pumps, and electric vehicles. 5 Lakes Energy works consistently in Michigan but also engages elsewhere across the Midwest and the US.

Michigan and National Energy Events

The 10th Annual Energy Innovators Gala will be held on Sept. 28 at The Eastern in Detroit. Get tickets here.

The Detroit 2030 District will be hosting the 2030 Districts Network International Summit when all twenty-four 2030 Districts come to Detroit on Oct. 4-6. Tickets are available to the public. Click here to register. The Detroit 2030 District is one of twenty-four 2030 Districts across North America. Michigan is the only state with three Districts–Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids. 


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.

Consumers Energy has developed a draft RFP to solicit up to 700 Zonal Resource Credits (“ZRCs”) of capacity and associated energy and renewable energy credits (“RECs”), if applicable, starting on May 31, 2025. Find the draft RFP documents here. Notices of intent are due Oct. 21.

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.