- Newsletter (386)
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:
New Report Shows Michigan Advanced Energy Still Losing Jobs, But At Slower Rate
The latest Clean Jobs report gives more numbers on the widespread job losses experienced by clean energy sectors like renewable energy, electric vehicles and alternative fuels, and also shows the economic strength behind these sectors before the pandemic hit.
In May, there were 1,000 new unemployment claims in Michigan in the advanced energy industries tracked by the report, coming on top of about 30,000 reported in March and April.
While we certainly hope the May numbers represent the beginning of a slowdown in the rate of job losses, 31,124 unemployed since the start of the pandemic is a stark number. It represents a significant portion of the 125,365 clean energy jobs in Michigan at the end of 2019, as counted by the Clean Jobs Midwest 2020 report.
The clean energy sectors had been growing nearly three times faster than total statewide employment, according to the report. “At the end of 2019, more people in Michigan worked in clean energy than real estate agents and brokers, computer programmers, web developers, and waiters and waitresses,” it said.
In order to restore vitality to the state’s advanced energy industry, it remains critical that Michigan policymakers take steps to support job creation, including through recommendations that Michigan EIBC recently laid out in a memo.
Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman Speaks On Panel About Interconnection Rules
Last week, Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman was a panelist at a session for the Midwest Solar Expo, held as a virtual conference this year. The session, “Missed Interconnections,” was about the need for clear and transparent rules to connect distributed generation projects to the grid without burdensome delays.
Improving interconnection rules has been an important initiative for Michigan EIBC over the past couple of years. Michigan EIBC submitted comments to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) several times that lay out specific suggestions for the MPSC’s ongoing revision of the state’s interconnection rules. For example, as distributed energy resources like energy storage get deployed at ever increasing rates, it will be critical to have an interconnection process with separate procedures for energy storage projects.
It is also important to ensure that the interconnection process operates as smoothly as possible to avoid unnecessary delays for projects For example, Michigan EIBC urged the MPSC to hold to deadlines for different stages of the interconnection process so projects are not kept waiting for unreasonably long amounts of time.
As the MPSC gets closer to moving forward with new interconnection rules, it will be important to continue addressing these complicated issues.
Prospective Members: Learn About Michigan EIBC Membership Benefits on June 29
Prospective members are invited to join us for a How Membership Adds Value to Your Business virtual meeting on Monday, June 29 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm EST.
During the meeting, you will:
- Learn more about the advanced energy industry in Michigan
- Learn how Michigan EIBC can help you gain the connections, networks, and policies that your business needs to grow in Michigan
- Learn about the organization and our activities from EIBC staff, key legal and legislative partners, and EIBC board members
- Hear from variety of Michigan EIBC members on why they joined the organization; and lastly…
- Ask questions!
RSVP for Energy Storage Convening on July 8
Please join us for a virtual Energy Storage Convening on Wednesday, July 8 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm EST.
Speakers will review the state of the energy storage market in Michigan and a panel of industry experts will share what creates the right market conditions for energy storage companies to thrive. Participants will also be asked to think collaboratively about the challenges the energy storage industry faces.
Expert speakers and panelists will be announced in the coming weeks.
Register for Energy Innovators Conference (and Happy Hour!) for August 27
The 8th Annual Energy Innovators Conference will take place virtually on Thursday, August 27 from 1:30 to 5:00 pm EST.
Speakers include (more to be announced soon):
Fireside Chat with Katherine Hamiltonmoderated by Kwafo Adarkwa
Click here to read Katherine and Kwafo’s full bios.
The keynote speaker for the virtual conference is Patti Poppe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jackson, Michigan based CMS Energy and its principal subsidiary, Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility and the nation’s fourth largest combination utility.
Ameresco, Inc. is a leading independent provider of comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout North America and the United Kingdom, delivering long-term value through innovative systems, strategies and technologies. Ameresco’s solutions range from upgrades to facilities’ energy infrastructure to the development, construction and operation of renewable energy plants combined with tailored financial solutions. We work with customers on both sides of the meter to reduce operating expenses, upgrade and maintain facilities, stabilize energy costs, improve occupancy comfort levels, increase energy reliability and enhance the environment.
5 Lakes Energy
5 Lakes Energy is a Michigan-based policy consulting firm dedicated to advancing policies and programs that promote clean energy, sustainability and the environment.
Since 2007, Foresight has existed to champion energy management, accelerate sustainability and increase profitability for our clients. We serve commercial, industrial and institutional organizations across North America and the globe. Our interdisciplinary team of energy engineers, sustainability experts, data analysts, software engineers, procurement professionals and project managers work together to provide holistic, proactive and strategic solutions for our growing client base. Service areas include but are not limited to; utility bill collection, reporting and optimization, energy procurement consulting, facility energy audits, renewable energy feasibility studies, carbon emission calculations and reporting, energy modeling, commissioning and retro-commissioning.
GEM Energy provides comprehensive services and technologies to improve customer business performance and reduce facility operation costs by providing expertise in engineering, procurement, construction, operations and maintenance. Services include combined heat and power (CHP) systems; HVAC and plumbing, facility management, utility procurement, solar development and building automation controls for the commercial, industrial, institutional and mission critical markets. GEM Energy is part of the Rudolph Libbe Group (RLG), a one-stop provider of construction and facility services ranging from site selection and construction to energy solutions and ongoing facility management. The full-service contractor, comprised of Rudolph Libbe Inc., GEM Inc., GEM Energy, Lehman Daman and Rudolph Libbe Properties, is focused on ensuring its customers succeed. Our headquarters is in Toledo with offices in Cleveland, Columbus and Lima, Ohio; Ithaca, New York; and Detroit, Michigan areas.
Greenlots, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shell New Energies, is a leading provider of open standards-based technology solutions for electric vehicle (EV) networks and grid management. Based in Los Angeles, Greenlots has deployed charging networks for some of the world’s largest automakers, utilities, fleet owners and cities. Combining an award-winning software platform with a suite of services to support EV infrastructure deployment, Greenlots has scaled its flexible, smart charging solutions in various applications including utility programs, fleet charging and public DC fast charging. Greenlots is excited to help support and accelerate the growth of electric vehicles in Michigan.
Magellan Wind is an offshore wind developer that develops projects far offshore using floating foundations.
Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is one of the Midwest’s oldest and most accomplished law firms with offices throughout Michigan and in Chicago, Illinois, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm employs approximately 150 attorneys who provide counsel and advice to clients in numerous industries, including those in the energy sector. Our attorneys have particular expertise in the areas of business law, commercial litigation, environmental and energy regulation, governmental affairs, real estate and much more. Visit the firm’s website www.plunkettcooney.comto learn more or to explore our substantive legal blogs.
Michigan Energy News
- Ford announces more ambitious carbon neutrality goals.
- DTE will offer customers the ability to buy landfill gas and carbon credits as part of a new plan for net-zero natural gas emissions by 2050.
- Michigan EIBC member Geronimo Energy has hired engineering firm J. Ranck Electric for its 20-MW solar project being built in Monroe County.
- The flooding in Midland and Saginaw counties earlier this year show the need for more renewable energy, several Michigan environmental groups say.
- Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel praises the judge-ordered shutdown of the Line 5 pipeline but calls it “a short-term fix.”
- Romulus, Mich.-based trailer manufacturer Benlee has invested $500,000 toward a solar panel array from Michigan EIBC member POWERHOME Solar.
National Energy News
- Environment America calls on 10 states – including Michigan – to follow California’s lead and mandate solar panels on new homes.
- House Democratic leaders have released the text of a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill that provides billions for clean energy.
- The economic recession has reinvigorated calls for a national green bank.
- Kansas City may soon pass the strongest building codes for energy efficiency in the country.
- Local governments have struck 335 deals for 8.28 gigawatts of renewable energy over the last five years, according to a new report.
- Staff for New Mexico regulators recommends replacing the huge San Juan coal-fired power plant with renewable energy and battery storage.
Due to the number of events that have been canceled or postponed due to the pandemic, we are sharing some online events, webinars and tutorials on advanced energy topics that may be of interest.
The National Regulatory Research Institute has a three-part webinar series on “The Impact of COVID-19 on Utility Rate Making.”
Due to COVID-19, PlugVolt is offering complimentary access to a webinar series that provides a guide to how to select primary and secondary cells for battery products.
The Small Business Association of Michigan has many online resources including Youtube webinars and daily video briefings about COVID-19 and how small businesses in Michigan can cope.
Norton Rose Fulbright regularly organizes webinars featuring experts and executives of major companies, such as this one on the challenges that COVID-19 and low commodity prices pose to the energy industry.
The Clean Energy Group has a huge archive of webinars and presentations related to net metering, energy efficiency, EVs, energy storage and much more.
The Energy Storage Association has a number of upcoming and recorded webinars covering many different facets of energy storage.
Michigan Energy Events
Every Tuesday at noon from June 23 to August 25, Michigan EIBC member Michigan CAT is holding an Advanced Energy 101 training series of webinars for engineers, focusing on software tools, design resources and project development for distributed power generation systems. Participants can earn up to 10 professional development hours. Register for free by June 22.
Michigan EIBC member Lean & Green Michigan invites you to join the Virtual Southeast Michigan PACE Summit on June 30, which will include presentations on Southeast Michigan-based PACE projects, panel discussions on energy financing and the economic benefits of energy efficiency, and updates on local sustainability efforts. Register here.
The Michigan Energy Providers Conference is switching to a virtual format and will occur on July 30.
PlugVolt’s next Battery Seminar has been postponed from the previous dates of July 21-23 to October 6-8 in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
The NetZeroBuild Summit 2020, bringing together the key stakeholders involved in the Midwest’s value chain for net-zero construction in residential, commercial, academic and government buildings, is in Novi from August 25-26 (New dates due to delay related to the coronavirus.)
National Energy Events
On June 29, the Great Plains Institute is hosting a webinar on “Best Practices for Standby Rates for Combined Heat and Power.” The purpose of this upcoming survey is to begin to critically examine emerging recommended practices for standby rates with interested stakeholders such as regulators, potential CHP users, developers, technical experts, and utilities. Register here.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources released new RFPs for utility-scale solar systems at sites in northern Michigan, one in Dickinson County and the other in Crawford County. Find more information here.
The Kent County Department of Public Works is looking for an anchor tenant for its planned Sustainable Business Park. Learn about the RFP here.
The Green Task Force is requesting that non-profit and faith-based organizations fill out a brief survey to assess readiness for solar projects.
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.
Ann Arbor Public Schools have an RFP for an electric bus charging station.
The Detroit 2030 District is a free program that challenges Detroit building owners and managers to reduce wasted energy. Those that achieve the greatest reductions from the prior-year baseline will be recognized at the first annual Detroit Energy Challenge Award Ceremony in 2021. Visit 2030districts.org/Detroit to find out more information including how a building can apply.
The Michigan Energy Office’s Small Manufacturers Energy Waste Reduction Incentive Pilot is offering rebates of up to $15,000 per company for small manufacturers that can implement energy efficiency activities between Oct. 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020. There is a 100% minimum match requirement. Click here to learn more about eligibility and apply.