Michigan EIBC Releases Advanced Energy Platform for Next Administration; MPSC Issues Orders on PURPA & VGP

Advanced Energy Platform for next administration

Today, Michigan EIBC and Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) released a policy platformfor the Michigan gubernatorial campaigns of Republican nominee Attorney General Bill Schuette and Democratic nominee Gretchen Whitmer outlining how clean energy can create jobs and drive economic growth in the state. The document outlines multiple policy priorities the next governor of Michigan can pursue to take full advantage of the economic development potential provided by advanced energy technologies and services. Michigan EIBC Board Members and Leadership Council were pleased to meet with leading gubernatorial candidates over the last several months to discuss the policy platform.
“Michigan’s clean energy industry is fueling economic growth and creating jobs across the state,” said Liesl Eichler Clark, President of the Michigan EIBC. “Michigan’s next Governor can harness the economic power of the advanced energy industry, solidify the state’s leadership in mobility, and put quality jobs at the center of our energy future.”

Our energy system is going through a dramatic evolution – attention to consumer preferences, dynamic new technologies, and the need to replace aging infrastructure are all contributing to a rapidly changing energy landscape. And with this transformation, comes opportunity to grow the 122,200 clean energy jobs in Michigan.

In the policy platform, we present six keys themes for the gubernatorial campaigns to consider:

  1. Build upon recent legislative successes to further develop the runway for advanced energy in Michigan.
  2. Maximize energy efficiency and demand response to create jobs and provide cost savings.
  3. Increase opportunities to purchase renewable energy.
  4. Expand opportunities for customers to generate their own electricity.
  5. Electrify Michigan’s transportation sector.
  6. Modernize and improve Michigan’s electrical grid.

MPSC Issues Decisions on

On October 5, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) issued long-awaited decisions in several cases related to PURPA and voluntary green power pricing programs.

With respect to PURPA, the MPSC ruled that avoided costs determined in Case No. U-18090 last November for Consumers Energy can go into effect. However, full avoided cost payments are only guaranteed for the first 150 MW of projects in the utility’s interconnection queue (as determined by filing date). The MPSC decided that Consumers Energy’s need for additional capacity beyond those 150 MW will be determined as part of the ongoing Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) case (U-20165). The MPSC also clarified and finalized the terms of the utility’s standard offer tariff.

The MPSC also overturned the decision made by Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Sharon Feldman in the Consumers IRP case (U-20165) by granting the appeals filed by Consumers Energy, ABATE, and the Attorney General. Those parties appealed a decision by the ALJ which granted a motion to strike aspects of the Consumers IRP related to PURPA. The original motion to strike was filed by the Environmental Law & Policy Center. Coupled with the decisions described above in U-18090, this decision means that PURPA avoided cost and the utility’s standard offer tariff will be re-examined and updated in the Consumers IRP case.

With respect to voluntary green power pricing, the MPSC approved Consumers Energy’s proposed voluntary green pricing (VGP) programs (including the Large Customer-Renewable Energy Program Option A and Option B) but held up approval of a similar plan from DTE Energy to give the utility time to provide more information about program costs. As an intervening party, Michigan EIBC urged the MPSC to establish strong green power pricing programs to help meet the growing demand for renewable energy in Michigan. Michigan EIBC will continue to work with the Commission and DTE Electric to ensure that their program works for Michigan’s advanced energy industry and corporate energy users.

“A growing number of Michigan’s largest energy users are demanding clean, renewable energy because it is affordable and helps them meet their long-term energy needs,” said Liesl Eichler Clark, President of Michigan EIBC. “We applaud the Commission for approving Consumers Energy’s programs, which will boost access to clean energy to meet the growing demand among businesses. We look forward to working with DTE Electric to make sure their program works for Michigan’s advanced energy industry and corporate energy users.”

University of Michigan Commits to Carbon Neutrality

Last week University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel committed that the school will achieve carbon neutrality on campus. Schlissel announced that he will appoint a commission over the coming months to develop a detailed plan and timeline for achieving carbon neutrality. The planning process intends to incorporate other local institutions — public and private — to make the University’s goal achievable and to influence even broader change.

Previously, the University had committed to a 25% carbon reduction from 2006 levels by 2025. Schlissel reported that the 25% reduction will be met ahead of schedule, thanks in part to an agreement to purchase renewable energy that will soon be finalized. This progress comes despite the University’s growing footprint, which is now home to approximately 37 million square feet of buildings.

The University of Michigan’s announcement is the latest in a general trend among institutions of higher education across the country that have made commitments to carbon neutrality, renewable energy procurement, and fossil-fuel divestment. In Michigan, Michigan State University has plans to reduce emissions by 65 percent by 2030. Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Ohio State, Northwestern, the University of Minnesota, the University of Maryland and the University of Illinois have committed to a 100 percent carbon emission reduction by 2050.

Save the Date: Election Recap for Michigan EIBC Members on Nov. 9 

On November 9 in Lansing, Michigan EIBC will be hosting a post-election recap and analysis for member companies. The meeting will cover results from the Michigan legislative races, the gubernatorial and other statewide races, and races for the U.S. House and Senate. We’ll discuss initial reactions to what the results of the election mean for advanced energy in Michigan.

New Member

Our Mission: To connect the smart grid to the smart home with the only utility led Home Energy Management Solution developed for utilities worldwide.
Our Story: We have created a connection to the home that nobody else has. Powerley provides a real-time window into energy usage – for your home and for every connected appliance and device within it. By developing a constant connection with your energy, we have created an entirely new connected home experience. You don’t need ten different apps for every connected bulb, switch, appliance and camera in your home. You only need one – the one that allows you to manage your energy and your home. Via Powerley, all your smart devices work harmoniously together to deliver a personalized experience that is enriched with true energy insight. Bridging the smart home to the smart grid is no small feat. Our solution was built hand-in-hand with energy utilities, the industry that powers our daily lives – stretching from energy plants to the light bulbs in your home. Through the utilities, your home is already connected. Powerley just adds the extra ingredients to make it intelligent.

Renewing Members

The Christman Company
Christman is a self perform builder, construction manager, and general contractor, in business for over 120 years, based in Michigan and with a footprint in the mid-south region. With average revenue around $800M, and a diverse, talented group of professionals, our capabilities fit for a broad range of project types and size.

Inovateus Solar
Inovateus Solar specializes in full-service Turnkey Engineering, Procurement, and Construction, with over 300 MW completed since we opened our doors in 2008. We focus on the Industrial and Commercial markets, as well as utility scale projects. We are family owned and operate primarily in the Midwest. Our Supply division provides all solar equipment needs.

Michigan Community Action
Michigan Community Action is a member service network dedicated to reducing poverty in Michigan by supporting Community Action Agencies in their quest to change the lives of low-income Michiganders.

Newman Consulting Group
NewmanConsultingGroup (NCG), a Lean and Green Michigan and Rebuild Michigan® Partner, a DTE Energy and Michigan Saves Trade Ally, and an EPA Energy Star® Partner, works with architects, engineers, building owners and contractors in Michigan and throughout the world to design and build more energy-efficient buildings to LEED®, Energy Star® and other sustainable guidelines. NCG also helps commercial and industrial building owners save money and reduce negative impacts on the environment. Through energy audits and retrofitting existing buildings NCG helps buildings use less energy – and save money – while maintaining or improving the indoor air quality and enhancing the health, comfort and productivity of the building occupants. Services include: • LEED® Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) • Energy Audits – Level I, Level II and Level III • Energy Star® Certification • Re-Commissioning and Retro-Commissioning • Tax Deductions and Credits • Cost Recovery/Tax Benefits • Project Management • Design Assistance • Engineering Reports • PACE Project Management (Property Assessed Clean Energy)

Sunrun is the largest dedicated residential solar provider in the country. We have over a decade of experience helping nearly 135,000 homeowners choose clean, sustainable energy for their homes. We pioneered the “solar-as­-a­-service” model 10 years ago and since then we have been delivering on a vision to create a planet run by the sun.

Sunrun’s history of blending innovation with expertise began in 2007 when Sunrun co-founders invented this model of service—making clean solar energy affordable, mainstream, and accessible for everyone in the U.S.  Sunrun makes going solar, and saving money on your electric bill, about as easy as it gets. Our innovation continues with Sunrun’s BrightBox, an innovative solar and battery storage solution for homeowners who want the peace of mind that comes with backup electricity and maximum control over their energy bills. This enables our customers to better manage the energy generated directly from their rooftops. Sunrun employs more than 3,000 people throughout the United States. We’re looking forward to helping Midwest families go solar to bring down their energy costs and create a cleaner, more sustainable environment for generations to come.

Varnum’s long-standing energy practice encompasses significant experience in conventional, alternative and renewable energy sources. It has been involved in energy legal issues for more than 35 years. Varnum helped organize the Energy Michigan trade association and are a founding member of the Michigan Renewable Energy Consortium. Varnum’s energy clients include: – Municipally-owned electric utilities – Co-generators and independent power producers – Biomass facilities, including waste-to-energy and wood-fired plants – Alternative energy projects, including wind farms, biomass, waste-to-energy, landfill gas, hydroelectric, and biodigesters – Oil & gas producers and transporters – Nuclear power plants – Trade associations – Investors and lenders – Customers and end-users – Manufacturers of energy-producing parts and equipment Varnum’s project work includes utility scale cogeneration and exempt wholesale generators in excess of 1000 MW; alternative energy projects from 0.5 MW to 65 MW; and natural gas pipelines, production and utility scale storage facilities. Varnum has both the 40,000 foot perspective and the detailed knowledge of this highly-regulated industry to help you meet its clients energy goals in the new energy marketplace.

Michigan Energy Stories

National Energy Stories

Michigan Energy Events

October 7-12 is Detroit Mobility Week which is a celebration of Detroit’s global leadership in automotive and next-generation mobility and features a number of events.

You’re invited to the 2018 Clean Mobility Expo taking place in Grand Rapids on October 15th from 10am-1pm at The Rapid’s brand new CNG fueling station! E-mail asumerix@acuitasllc.com to RSVP

On October 16 from 9am – 11am the Energy Services Coalition will host a training session at Lansing Community College West titled “Solar + Utility Programs.” For more information, email Krista at knesbit@Ameresco.com.

A Combined Heat & Power (CHP) Workshop, hosted by Michigan CAT Power Systems and DTE Energy, will be held on October 17, noon to 3 PM at Founders Brewery in Grand Rapids. A limited number of seats are available for non-DTE customers, consultants or contractors. Register at www.eventbright.com  (search for DTE CHP) or contact James Leidel at 248.765.2027 or james.leidel@dteenergy.com.

DTE Energy is seeking public input as it develops its long-term Integrated Resource Plan and is hosting a stakeholder meeting on October 23 from 4pm to 7pm at the Wayne County Community College District Downtown Campus — Atrium (no registration necessary)

On October 25, Michigan EIBC is hosting an event with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce focused on corporate procurement of renewable energy in Lansing. Michigan EIBC members and Michigan Chamber members can register here.

Michigan EIBC will host a members-only election recap on Friday, November 9. Watch your inboxes for registration details.

Michigan EIBC’s Annual Energy Innovator’s Gala is scheduled for Wednesday, November 14, in Lansing. Sponsorship opportunities are available and interested sponsors should contact Nicole Forward at nicole@mieibc.org. For more information on the Gala and to register, please check out the website.

IEI will host a Corporate Purchasers Lunch & Learn at the House Office Building in Lansing on December 5. This event will be open to legislators and legislative staff, as well as Michigan EIBC members. Watch your inboxes for registration details.

National Energy Events   

Join 500+ attendees October 18-19 in Vermont for REVitalize: Transforming Energy Further, Fast, Together with keynote speakers Katherine Hamilton, chair of 38 North Solutions, and Gordan Van Welie, president and CEO of ISO New England.

Attend the 2018 ACEEE Rural Energy Conference on October 22 in Atlanta, Georgia. Register here.

MSU IPU invites you to the 60th Annual Regulatory Studies Program’s 46th Eastern NARUC Utility Rate School. The event provides comprehensive hands-on training on the basics of the public utility ratemaking process and is sponsored by the NARUC Committee on Water and featuring group work on a mock water utility rate case. It will take place October 22-26 in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

Join 20,000 energy professionals at the Energy Storage North America Solar+Storage Summit November 6-8 in Pasadena, California. Register here.

You’re invited to Facing Race, a conference taking place in Detroit November 8-10. The conference will include several components related to energy democracy, helping cities and states to implement their new energy programs in a way that is racially equitable. For more information, please click here.

The 6th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala is on November 14 in East Lansing hosted by the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) invite you to Solar Power Midwest in Chicago on November 14-15.

Announcements and Opportunities
The Michigan Energy Office (MEO) has announced a pilot program that will offer matching funds to eligible Michigan businesses to develop innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

USDA announced a set of loan guarantees and grants as a part of USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The deadlines to apply for grants are Oct. 31, 2018, and April 1, 2019. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round. Additional information about the program and how to apply for this funding is available on page 40216 of the Aug. 14, 2018, Federal Register.