- Newsletter (315)
The Michigan Public Service Commission recently released its ninth annual report on renewable energy in Michigan, reporting progress on renewable energy deployment under PA 295 of 2008 which established Michigan’s first renewable energy standard.
There are currently 25 utility-scale wind projects in Michigan with one more expected to be operational this year and three more in 2020.
Approximately 3,000 megawatts of renewable nameplate capacity is installed in Michigan and wind was the leading resource by far, representing 69% of that generation. Solar installations accounted for 4 percent of renewable nameplate capacity. Other renewable resources included:
- 12 percent hydroelectric
- 7 percent biomass
- 5 percent landfill gas
- 3 percent municipal solid waste
Under Public Act 295, electric providers were required to meet a 10 percent renewable energy standard based on retail sales by the end of 2015. Public Act 342 of 2016 increased the requirement to at least 12.5 percent for 2019 and 2020 and 15 percent by the end of 2021. The report found that all providers subject to the state’s renewable energy standard are meeting the current goals.
Gov. Whitmer Signs New Executive Order Creating EGLE
On Wednesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a new executive order to create the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). The new department will include a new Office of Climate & Energy in addition to other functions previously housed in other departments. The new executive order was issued to replace Executive Order 2019-2, which was voted down on a party-line vote by the Michigan Legislature.
“Every Michigander deserves safe, clean drinking water, and I’m not going to let partisan politics slow down the important work that needs to get done right now to protect public health,” said Whitmer. “That’s why I’m taking action to sign this new executive order so we can start cleaning up our drinking water, protect the Great Lakes, and take action to address climate change.” EO 2019-6 requires submission to the legislature and takes effect after 60 days.
The original order was rejected because it abolished three panels for reviewing environmental permits. The new executive order eliminates the Environmental Science Advisory Board and keeps the Environmental Rules Review Committee and the Environmental Permit Review Commission. The Governor has requested an opinion from Michigan’s Attorney General on the legality of these commissions.
The full executive order can be found here: Executive Order 2019-6.pdf
Legislators and Legislative Staff Join IEI for Energy 101
On Wednesday, the Institute for Energy Innovation hosted “Energy 101” in Lansing. The event, which is geared toward legislators and legislative staff, is hosted by IEI at the beginning of each legislative session.
Attendees learned from experts from across the advanced energy industry. Speakers and topics included the following:
- Michigan’s Energy Profile presented by Laura Sherman, Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council
- The Regulatory Compact and Utility Regulation in Michigan presented by Mike Byrne, Chief Operating Officer, Michigan Public Service Commission
- Understanding Utility Operations presented by Brandon Hofmeister, Consumers Energy
- Advanced Energy and the Changing Energy System presented by Tim Lundgren, Varnum LLP
- Advanced Energy and Conservative Principles presented by Ed Rivet, Michigan Conservative Energy Forum
- Creating a More Reliable, Resilient, and Advanced Grid presented by JR Tolbert, Advanced Energy Economy
- Energy and Advanced Transportation presented by Glenn Stevens, MICHauto
- Corporate Procurement of Advanced Energy presented by Rob Threlkeld, General Motors
- Residential and Commercial Solar as Peak Power presented by Troy Bracke, Michigan Solar Solutions
Following the event, Michigan EIBC hosted a cocktail reception at the offices of Dykema. More than 30 legislators and staff participated throughout the day.
Michigan Energy News
- The 2017 Utility Energy Waste Reduction Programs report found 64 electric companies (investor-owned, cooperatives, and municipalities) spent a total of $220.5 of EWR programs, and gas utilities spent $88.1 million. The $308.6 million spent is expected to save customers nearly $1.1 billion over the 12-year lifecycle of EWR efforts adopted in 2017.
- Amazon will lead a $700 million investment in Michigan-based electric pickup truck startup Rivian.
- A nonprofit “green bank” run by Michigan EIBC member Public Sector Consultants in Michigan has financed nearly $200 million in efficiency and renewable energy projects.
- Cadillac approved plans to repurpose a blighted industrial property with solar power.
- A former chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission wrote that solar net metering customers are being subsidized by all other ratepayers for using the grid.
- Groups are speaking out about a proposal before the Michigan Public Service Commission, saying it would deter customers from choosing solar energy. “We have 24 employees right now and by next year we could have 50. I’m holding back because of the unknown,” said Mark Hagerty who owns Michigan Solar Solutions.
- DTE Electric has issued its second offering of “green bonds” to help finance its next round of clean energy investments, the Detroit-based utility announced Tuesday.
- Consumers Power has sparked pushback from industry groups due to its inability to keep up with new solar requests for grid interconnection in its territory. Since the utility received over 2,400 interconnection applications in 2017 and 2018, compared with 215 in 2015, the increase in interconnection applications was “too substantial and too sudden” to cope with, it complained to the Michigan Public Service Commission.
- Solar companies in Michigan created 35 jobs last year, up 1 percent from 4,169 in 2017, while solar-related jobs slipped 3.2 percent nationwide, or 8,000 fewer, areport says.
- A northern Michigan electric cooperative makes misleading claims about the value of small-scale solar generation, a local advocate says.
- The Michigan Public Service Commission has approved a DTE Electric Co. program that lets residential and small commercial customers designate how much of the power they use will come from renewable sources.
- Upper Peninsula Power Company has filed its Integrated Resource Plan with the Michigan Public Service Commission outlining how it will achieve 56 percent renewable energy by 2022.
- A DTE Energy power purchasing program will allow Ford to power multiple assembly plants and buildings with wind energy.
National Energy News
- As electric cars grow in popularity, the role for combustion vehicles during the transition is far from clear, industry analysts say.
- Michigan EIBC member company Invenergy signed leases with landowners in southeastern Wisconsin for a potential 250 MW solar project.
- California will soon join Colorado and Arizona in adopting “time of use” energy pricing.
- Autonomous shuttle company May Mobility raised $22 million in Series A funding led by Millennium Technology Value Partners and Cyrus Capital Partners.
- Shell announced its acquisition of energy storage company Sonnen, following Shell’s acquisition of Greenlots earlier this month.
- Minnesota transportation officials called for 20 percent of all cars, SUVs and light-duty trucks to be electrified by 2030.
- The polar vortex showed that the U.S. needs to scale up battery storage far beyond what’s planned to meet high demand with 100 percent renewables, an analysis finds.
- Michigan EIBC member NextEra teamed up with PGE for the largest wind-solar-storage project in the US.
- A microgrid tariff is being considered by Hawaii regulators.
- According to recent polling from a post-election survey by the Conservative Energy Network and CRES Forum, renewable energy is no longer a wedge issue.
Michigan Energy Events
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 MichiganCAT. 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).
You’re invited to MEECA’s upcoming Annual Banquet & Awards Celebration on March 6th.
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
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.