Michigan Residents Support a Transition from Coal to Solar & Wind

A new research report released this week by Michigan State University indicates that most Michigan residents support a shift from coal-fired electricity generation to cleaner forms, like wind and solar.
According to the report, 90 percent of survey respondents support more solar power in Michigan and 75 percent support a transition away from coal-fired electricity generation in the coming years. The report also found that at least 61 percent of respondents and 80 percent of homeowners had interest in leasing solar panels if they were “affordable and available.”
The study was undertaken by researchers Sharlissa Moore, Ph.D., assistant professor at MSU’s James Madison College and College of Engineering and Annick Anctil, assistant professor in MSU’s College of Engineering. In 2018, Anctil was selected to participate in the Michigan Clean Energy Leaders Project, a program supported by Michigan EIBC.

January 9 Settle Agreement Has Implications for Net Metering

On January 9, the Michigan Public Service Commission approved a settle agreement in the Consumers Energy rate case (U-20134). Michigan EIBC and the Institute for Energy Innovation were co-intervenors in that case. The settlement agreement included authorization of the state’s first electric vehicle infrastructure pilot and a commitment from Consumers to “not contribute any of its corporate treasury monies to an Internal Revenue Code 501c(4) entity or an Internal Revenue Code 527 entity” while the electricity rates established in this case are in effect. This means that Consumers can not use corporate money for political spending until at least late 2020.
While the approval of the EV pilot program — which Michigan EIBC included in a previous newsletter — and the political donation limitations gained the most headlines, the settlement has other practical implications for the advanced energy industry and Michigan EIBC members. Namely, as a part of the settlement, Consumers agreed not to file a new rate case until after January 1, 2020. That subsequent rate case will take at least 10 months to be resolved. Because a new distributed generation (DG) tariff won’t be adopted until the next rate case is completed, customers in Consumers territory who install behind-the-meter distributed generation systems will be able to qualify for net metering at least through October 2020. Any customer who enters the net metering program before a new distributed generation tariff is in place will be grandfathered into the program for 10 years.
As always, Michigan EIBC continues to monitor and, where appropriate, participate in regulatory proceedings. For more information about Michigan EIBC’s regulatory work, please reach out to Laura Sherman (laura@mieibc.org).

New Member

Barton Malow Company

Barton Malow is the largest construction firm in Michigan. We build safe reliable energy facilities that include wind, solar, CHP, and biomass ranging in all sizes.

Renewing Members

Apex Clean Energy

Apex Clean Energy is an independent renewable energy company focused on developing utility-scale generation facilities. Based in Charlottesville, Virginia, Apex is building one of the nation’s largest, most diversified portfolios of renewable energy resources, capable of producing over 13,000 MW of clean energy. The company is currently exploring the feasibility of constructing more than 500 MW of generation in Michigan.

Cardno’s Michigan team consists of staff with over 20 years of experience in environmental compliance support for utility projects. Our team has extensive experience with federal, state, and local permitting and construction oversight monitoring. Cardno’s team also has vast ecological assessment experience including desktop analysis and field surveys for wetland and stream delineation, threatened and endangered species, dune permitting, storm water monitoring, soil erosion permitting, construction oversight, and cultural resources. We understand the requirements and expectations of utility projects from design through construction, and post monitoring and restoration.

At CLEAResult, we make energy efficiency smarter, faster and more accessible for everyone. We work with utilities, businesses and consumers to improve the energy experience on a local and global level — and we’re just getting started. We offer a comprehensive set of energy programs and demand-side management strategies. Our energy experts design and maintain energy optimization services for utility companies as well as institutional, commercial and industrial organizations. We deliver solutions that lower load requirements for utilities, reduce energy bills for end users and minimize environmental burdens on communities. Every day, in every way possible, we change the way people use energy.

Inman Solar
Inman Solar is a Developer, EPC and Owner/Operator of commercial and small utility scale solar PV projects.

Invenergy is North America’s largest independent, privately held renewable energy provider. The Company develops, owns and operates large-scale renewable and other clean energy generation and storage facilities in North America, Latin America, Japan and Europe. Invenergy is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. In Michigan, Invenergy developed and constructed the 133-turbine Gratiot County Wind project and has several additional projects under advanced development.

McNaughton-McKay Electric Company
McNaughton-McKay Electric Company is a leading distributor of electrical products for the industrial, automation, commercial, and construction markets. We opened in 1910 and are headquartered in Madison Heights, Michigan with 22 additional locations in 5 States and Germany. Each of our branch locations are committed to ensuring your needs are being met and we truly understand your business and industry goals.

Metro Consulting Associates
Metro Consulting Associates (MCA) is a full service consulting firm providing land surveying, civil engineering, geographic information systems (GIS), ecological, and land acquisition services. MCA was founded in 2009 and has grown to provide a wide range of services. Areas of expertise include: utility, commercial, education, energy, governmental, healthcare, industrial, institutional, municipal, office, residential, and retail. The keys to MCA’s success are our professional relationships, outstanding reputation, and exceptional results. MCA thrives at building long term relationships with our clients through our responsiveness, service, professional integrity, staff, and experience. Today, MCA has grown to a staff of more than 75 professionals with exceptional services that continue to exceed our client’s expectations. MCA has offices in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Florida, and Ohio.

Warner Norcross & Judd
Warner Norcross & Judd’s Resources, Energy and Environment group navigates the regulatory terrain to advocate in the areas of economic development and renewable and traditional energy, while providing proactive legal advice and representation for the resources, energy and environmental sectors. Clients range from energy providers and international mining companies to cutting edge startups. Whether you’re exploring an opportunity or facing a mountain of challenges, we can guide you to your business goals.

Michigan Energy Stories

  • Waymo, announced last week that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation voted to approve the company’s plan to set up a manufacturing facility in the state to build its self-driving vehicles. The MEDC approved an $8 million grant for the project.
  • Michigan EIBC’s work to expand advanced mobility in Michigan was featured by Driven and the Detroiter, highlighting an EIBC report and policy recommendations released in late 2018.
  • George Stojic, the executive director of planning and development for the Lansing Board of Water & Light highlighted BWL’s commitment to renewable energy.
  • Construction of a $250 million, 1,200-acre solar power farm in mid-Michigan’s Shiawassee County is predicted to begin later this year after the project proposed by Michigan EIBC member Ranger Power was approved by the Shiawassee County Planning Commission.
  • An Ovid Township Planning Commission public hearing to approve the site plan and special use permit for a solar farm developed by Michigan EIBC member Cypress Creek was scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 5.
  • Consumers Energy asked Michigan regulators to suspend solar interconnection applications after seeing an unprecedented spike in interest.
  • Two large solar projects totaling 340 MW were approved in Michigan and Illinois.
  • A coalition of religious leaders last week sent a letter to Governor Gretchen Whitmer asking for her to oppose a proposal by DTE Energy before the Public Service Commission as part of its current rate case that opponents say would derail the expansion of solar energy generation in the state.
  • Students, professors, researchers and community members gathered in Weill Hall Friday to listen to Lauren Knapp, a researcher at the Energy Institute, present discoveries on American behaviors and attitudes towards energy.
  • City officials and project sponsors celebrated the opening of the East Lansing Community Solar Park on Burcham Road at a celebration Jan. 23. In total 144 customers signed 25-year leases for the $399 panels.
  • A leadership class in Petoskey is working to fund the installation of a solar arrayon North Central Michigan College’s Petoskey campus.
  • Consumers Energy has completed development of a 500 kW solar-plus-storage project in the Circuit West district of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and expects to begin commercial operations within a few weeks.
  • DTE Energy asked customers to reduce electric usage due to strains on the regional grid.
  • Large automakers temporarily suspended operations at several Michigan plants to conserve energy.

National Energy Stories

Michigan Energy Events  

Legislators are invited to attend the Institute for Energy Innovation’s Energy 101 event on February 20th at the Michigan Municipal League (208 N. Capitol Ave, Lansing; basement room) from 12:00 – 3:30pm. A cocktail hour open to Michigan EIBC members will follow from 4pm – 6pm. 

Please join Michigan EIBC in Lansing on Monday, February 25 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm for a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Lunch Networking Meeting & Tour at Michigan CAT. Our featured speaker for the meeting will be Graeme Miller, Energy Policy Analyst with the Energy Resources Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). 

Members Only: Michigan EIBC members are invited to join us in Lansing on Friday, March 15 for an in-person Policy Committee meeting at Dykema in Lansing. This meeting replaces March’s Policy Committee conference call. 

Join Michigan EIBC on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 for our 7th Annual Member Meeting at the MSU Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center. 

Members Only: Michigan EIBC members are invited to join us in downtown Lansing on Wednesday, April 24 for Lobby Day. During Lobby Day, Michigan EIBC staff, members, and our lobby team at Dykema meet one-on-one with Michigan State Legislators and their staff to discuss current and future issues for the advanced energy industry.

National Energy Events    

Join Ceres for an in-depth webinar discussion: Michigan Policy Briefing: Fleet Electrification, on Thursday, February 7th at 11 am ET.

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Winter Policy Summit is February 10-13, 2019 in Washingtion DCClick here for more information.

Join the Midwest Cogeneration Association for “Energy Policy and the Case for Combined Heat & Power” on February 19, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.  

The 12th annual Storage Week is February 25-27 in San Francisco.

The Solar Power Finance & Investment Summit is March 19-21 in San Diego.
Attend the Midwest Renewable Energy Summit on April 16-18, 2019, in Chicago, IL.

Announcements & Opportunities

Michigan EIBC member Plug Smart seeks a business development professional for its southern Michigan territory. More information here.

Michigan EIBC member Geronimo is hiring for multiple positions working on renewable energy deployment in the Midwest.