Newsletter: Annual Meeting, Clean Power Plan and the Courts

This newsletter was originally published on April 5, 2016.

Poppe, Talberg to Highlight Michigan EIBC’s 4th Annual Member Meeting

Please join Michigan EIBC on Wednesday, May 4 for our 4th Annual Member Meeting at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing.

This full-day conference provides attendees an opportunity to network, learn about  innovations in advanced energy, and get an overview on the latest policy developments.

The meeting will feature an opening dialogue with two dynamic Michigan energy leaders – Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy ‘s incoming President and CEO, and the Honorable Sally Talberg, Chair of the Michigan Public Service Commission. A media roundtable will close out the day, looking at the current state of the energy debate in Michigan, and the impacts of the 2016 elections on the future of energy policy. This panel will feature Andy Balaskovitz from Midwest Energy News, Zach Gorchow from MIRS, Emily Lawler from MLive, and Kyle Melinn of Gongwer.

The conference also features a number of break-out sessions throughout the day, including:

  • How To Think Big in Small Place: Energy Innovations in Rural Communities, Industrial Parks, and Downtowns
  • The Changing Landscape of Energy Efficiency: Demand Response, ESCOs, and Where We Go From Here
  • Taking Advantage of the ITC/PTC: What Do the Next Five Years Hold for Renewable Energy Development
  • And more!

A partial list of our confirmed expert panelists include:

  • Mathias Bell, Manager – Market Development and Regulatory Affairs, Opower
  • Myles Burnsed, Director of New Markets, groSolar
  • Greg Clark, Michigan Government Affairs Manager, AEP/ Indiana Michigan Power
  • Scott Ferguson, Vice President of Energy and Sustainability, Rockford Construction
  • Robert Jackson, , Manager, Michigan Energy Office
  • Doug Luciani, , CEO, TraverseCONNECT
  • Melanie McCoy, Superintendent, Sebewaing Light and Water
  • Shane VanCise, Energy Solutions Account Executive, Johnson Controls

Michigan EIBC members receive a $75 discount on event registration, and registration is now open. This full day event includes lunch.

Reserve your seat today!

Sponsorship opportunities are available, and most come with the opportunity to exhibit at the event. Please contact Nicole Forward at for more information.


Courts and the Future of the Clean Power Plan

The future of the EPA’s plan to reduce carbon emissions is now heavily tied to the DC Court of Appeals, with several varied interests and groups sending briefs in support of the regulation.

In 2015, the EPA announced a new rule for carbon emissions, the Clean Power Plan. The plan called for a 32 percent reduction in emissions from power plants by 2030. States, including Michigan, were working on implementation plans to comply until early 2016, when the Supreme Court issued a stay on the rule. This was a unique move, as a lower court was still hearing the suit against the Clean Power Plan.

Later in 2016, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away unexpectedly. The seat remains vacant and signs from Senate leadership indicate it will remain vacant until no sooner than the November presidential election. This vacancy elevates the importance for the DC Circuit Court’s decision, as a 4-4 split on the case at the Supreme Court would have the effect of upholding the lower court’s decision.

In the last few weeks, several groups and interests have submitted amicus briefs in favor of the plan, including the EPA, 208 members of Congress, Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft, and two former Republicans EPA administrators.

Oral arguments are scheduled at the D.C. Court of Appeals on June 2, and a decision from that court is expected over the summer.

Michigan EIBC will continue to update you on developments.


New/Renewing Members

Covanta Kent

Covanta is one of the world’s largest owners and operators of infrastructure for the conversion of waste-to-energy (known as “energy-from- waste” or “EfW”), as well as other waste disposal and renewable energy production businesses. Our company name represents the cooperation and advantages inherent in the partnerships we form to provide sustainable waste disposal solutions  for the communities and businesses we serve. Covanta operates and/or has ownership positions in over 40 energy-from-waste facilities in located North America, Italy and China. We also operate other waste management businesses such as transfer stations and metals recycling facilities complementary to our core EfW business.

Covanta-operated facilities in North America convert 20 million tons of trash annually into clean, renewable energy for approximately 1 million homes. Covanta’s U.S. operations process approximately 65 percent of the nation’s EfW volume and offset 20 million tons of greenhouse gases annually.


Levin Energy Partners/ Lean and Green Michigan

Levin Energy Partners facilitates clean energy projects for businesses, non-profits and local governments. The company created and runs Lean & Green Michigan, one of America’s most successful statewide Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs. PACE financing allows business and nonprofit property owners to undertake bigger and more comprehensive energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy projects. Lean & Green Michigan facilitates 100% financing at competitive, fixed interest rates for up to 20 years, rendering “that would be nice” projects into “no brainer” projects that are cash flow positive from day one.


Michigan Energy News

Mlive has an article about the seven coal-fired power plants scheduled to close by April 15, 2016.

MIRS reports former Michigan Public Service Commission Chair John Quackenbush officially left the commission on March 31. His resignation was announced earlier this year. The governor has yet to name a replacement to the commission, though he named current member Sally Talberg as the new chair. In the event of a vacancy on the three-person board, two members can be considered a quorum.

Gongwer News reports that the Public Service Commission is also seeking input and exploring options for statewide demand response programs.

Mlive and Michigan Radio have stories on the Detroit City Council approving DTE’s proposal to build a solar array on the 10-acre lot previously used as O’Shea Park.


National Energy News

Tesla began accepting deposits for its Model 3 last Thursday, and as of Sunday afternoon 276,000 pre-orders had been submitted.

Utility Dive has a piece on Chicago utility ComEd working to become a platform for a more distributed grid.

Utility Dive also has a piece on the uncertain future of the relationship between Nest and Google.

San Diego Gas & Electric announced they have contracted for a 20 MW storage facility and an additional 18.5 MW in energy efficiency programs.

Morning Consult reports that over 500 solar projects in Massachusetts have been stalled because the sate’s inaction in rising caps on net metering.


Michigan Events
The U.S. Green Building Council – West Michigan is hosting its 2nd Annual Battle of the Buildings Energy Summit on Friday, April 22 at the JW Marriott Ballroom in Grand Rapids.

The Engineering Society of Detroit – together with DTE Energy – is hosting its annual Energy Conference and Exhibition on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.
The 4th Annual Michigan EIBC Members Meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 4 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing. Registration is available here; contact Nicole Forward for sponsorship information.
The 2016 Michigan CHP Conference will be held Tuesday, May 10 at Oakland University in Rochester. The theme for this year’s conference is “Moving to Clean Energy with Combined Heat and Power: Matching CHP Customers to Suppliers.” Register here.

The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association is hosting the Michigan Energy Fair on June 24-25 at the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason. This year’s Fair also boasts the Great Lakes Emergency Preparedness Expo and the Sustainable Living Summit 2016.

National Events
AWEA’s annual WINDPOWER event will take place May 23-26 in New Orleans.
Intersolar North America will take place July 12-14 in San Francisco.
Solar Power International is scheduled for September 12-15 in Las Vegas.
The Battery Show, collocated with the Critical Power Expo and Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo, will be held in Novi from September 13-15.

Additional Resources 
Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is home to PowerSuite, a suite of tools that allows companies a one-stop on-line portal to search, track, and collaborate on state legislation and regulatory proceedings from around the country.
PowerSuite includes both BillBoard, the AEE dashboard for managing state legislation, and DocketDash, the AEE dashboard for managing state public utility commission proceedings. Subscription required. is a national solar permitting database that provides information on permitting for solar in jurisdictions across the country. The database includes a variety of information, from average permit turnaround times, to information required to be included in the permit, to contact information for individual jurisdictions. You can browse the requirements for the Michigan cities included in the database here.
The U.S. Department of Energy is offering A Guide to Federal Finance Facilities Available for Energy Efficiency Upgrades and Clean Energy Deployment. The downloadable guide provides information about the various federal financing programs available for energy efficiency and renewable energy — making it easier for state, local and tribal leaders, along with their partners in the private sector, to find capital for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
The Department of Energy has offers free public access to accepted peer-reviewed manuscripts or published scientific journal articles from projects funded by the DOE within 12 months of publication.