- Newsletter (395)
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:
EV Charging Corridor Planned from Michigan into Canada
On May 18 at an event on the Detroit River, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Canadian Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced the first Binational EV Corridor, which will ultimately be an 872-mile route from Kalamazoo to Quebec City with DC fast chargers every 50 miles.
The Michigan portion of the route is part of the state’s plan, approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, to use $110 million from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program to install chargers at at least 50-mile intervals along each of the state’s designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs).
“There’s nothing more Pure Michigan than accidentally driving into Canada, and now that journey will be electric on either side of the border,” Gov. Whitmer said in a statement from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “I am proud that we are working together to build up electric vehicle charging infrastructure. With the resources headed our way from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the bold investments Michigan automakers are making right here in Michigan, we will build and lead the future of mobility.”
In her executive budget for fiscal year 2024, Whitmer has also proposed an additional $65 million for EV charging infrastructure across the state.
Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman
Mich. House Committee on Tax Policy Holds Hearing on Solar PILT Legislation
Witnesses representing Michigan EIBC, Michigan EIBC members, DTE, Consumers Energy, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum all spoke in favor of legislation to establish a solar Payment In Lieu of Taxes system at a Michigan House Committee on Tax Policy hearing on May 17.
HB 4317 and HB 4318 were introduced in March and would allow utility-scale solar systems over 2 MW in size, at the discretion of local governments, to make a “payment in lieu of taxes” (PILT) instead of paying ad valorem property taxes. “These bills will create a solid framework that will help the further development of solar energy production in Michigan while creating a standard taxation structure that is acceptable for companies as well as the local government,” Rep. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), the sponsor of HB 4317, said at the hearing. Rep. Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint), the sponsor of HB 4318, said the bill “would help encourage solar districts by easing the tax burden for their operation while ensuring they are still paying a reasonable share of their dues.”
The witnesses at the hearing emphasized how these bills emerged from a two-year discussion process among the stakeholders to resolve conflicts that stalled previous attempts at PILT legislation. HBs 4317 and 4318 “will serve as an incentive to solar developers seeking to do business in the state,” Amanda Stallings, senior regulatory manager for Michigan EIBC member National Grid Renewables,” said in testimony. “This voluntary PILT program will also provide local units of government the long-term confidence they need to adequately plan for and allocate funds to services that benefit the community.”
Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman also testified. “For solar projects, we think this legislation represents an opportunity to move away from the fraught current system toward one that provides long term certainty, stability and consistency. We’re really hopeful that the passage of this legislation leads to more support in local communities for solar projects,” she said.
Other supporters of the legislation who testified included Michigan Conservative Energy Forum Executive Director Ed Rivet, Consumers Energy Senior Tax Manager Brian VanBlarcum, DTE Energy Tax Counsel and Manager of Tax Planning Sara Hutton and Michigan Chamber of Commerce Director of Environmental and Energy Affairs Mike Alaimo.
Michigan EIBC Director of Policy Justin Carpenter (left) and Lean & Green Michigan President and General Counsel Todd Williams (right)
C-PACE Gets Hearing Before Mich. Senate Energy and Environment Committee
On May 18, supporters of SB 302 and SB 303, bills that would expand commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing to allow more businesses, nonprofits and other entities to pursue renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, testified before a Senate Energy and Environment Committee hearing.
Witnesses included Michigan EIBC Director of Policy Justin Carpenter, Michigan EIBC member Lean & Green Michigan President and General Counsel Todd Williams and C-PACE Alliance Deputy Director Nicholas Zuba. “The C-PACE program has been successfully operating in Michigan for over a decade to help businesses make valuable energy-saving investments,” Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City) said during the hearing, Gongwer reported. “This legislation expands an already very effective tool for property owners to secure their businesses in an economical way and achieve savings.”
Michigan EIBC and other groups sent a letter to the committee’s chair Sen. Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo) last week urging for quick passage of the C-PACE legislation.
Michigan Energy News
- Michigan legislators announce the formation of the Energy Reliability, Resilience and Accountability Task Force in response to power outages earlier this year.
- “The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council wants to advance policies statewide for more tax consistency, remove competition and support local communities who host projects,” the Mining Journal reports.
- Eaton County sheriff deputies are looking for someone suspected of shooting a Consumers Energy distribution pole with a rifle, causing $30,000 in damage.
- At an event at the state capitol, the Sierra Club calls for the closure of all Michigan coal-fired power plants by 2030.
- Enbridge and Michigan AG Dana Nessel are quarreling over whether or not erosion is endangering the Line 5 pipeline.
National Energy News
- A bill introduced to the U.S. Senate aims to speed up permitting for hydroelectric projects, including pumped storage.
- A U.S. Department of Energy report lists 10 key steps for a decarbonized power grid.
- The Colorado legislature passes a bill that offers tax incentives for hydrogen production but only if producers add new renewable energy sources to the grid and match the hourly energy consumption of the hydrogen production to clean electricity output.
- Colorado lawmakers also pass a bill preventing utilities from charging customers for political activities.
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposes an update to coal ash regulations that will affect hundreds of previously unregulated coal ash landfills and ponds.
CVE North America, Inc. is the US subsidiary of CVE group, an international Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer specialized in solar and biogas with operations in France, Chile, Africa and the United States. In the US, CVE North America is engaged in the development, construction, financing, and ultimate operation and ownership of utility-scale solar photovoltaic generation facilities. CVE is operating and commercializing community solar projects in the Northeast while rapidly expanding to other states.
Attention Michigan EIBC members: if you have a job announcement you would like in the newsletter, please send a paragraph describing the position and a link to apply to Matt Bandyk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include in the email a specific end date for the job posting.
The Stakeholder Relations Intern will work within AES Clean Energy’s Stakeholder Relations team in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, and many other MISO & ERCOT territory states. This is an exciting opportunity to learn and apply industry-leading engagement strategies to empower communities and advance a carbon-free future. This role will support AES’ strategic renewable energy related stakeholder engagement from drafting communications and collateral materials to strategic planning, social impact development, and local community engagement. This role will report to the Manager of Stakeholder Relations MISO & ERCOT and is an excellent opportunity for someone who is planning a career in the renewable energy industry.
The Public Policy Intern is responsible for tracking legislation and other policies, as well as providing support to the team on ChargePoint’s legislative objectives throughout the Midwestern US. While this position is focused on ChargePoint’s policy engagement across the Midwest, the Policy Intern will also support the team with the development of policy briefing material to support policy engagement across the US on an as needed basis. Must be goal-motivated, adaptable in a fast-growing technology company environment, a strategic thinker, and detail-oriented. Successful candidates will have an educational background in public policy or prior work experience working with elected officials and state agencies. Knowledge of electric vehicle, energy or climate policy is preferred but not required.
Our Energy & Water Optimization Leaders interface with various facilities and sites and lead water, energy, and carbon reduction activities. They collaborate with external resources and provide leadership to – Energy Engineers, Energy & Water Optimization leaders, and Analysts, contractors, suppliers, utility companies, and others to enable energy and cost reduction.
Michigan and National Energy Events
The Michigan Climate Action Network is holding the 2023 Michigan Climate Summit at Oakland University on June 2. Register here.
On July 18-20, PlugVolt will be hosting Battery Seminar 2023 in Plymouth, Mich., featuring an entire day of in-depth technical tutorials on cutting-edge battery research presented by industry subject matter experts and world renowned professors from Top 50 U.S. Universities. The next two days will include complementary industry updates provided by speakers from Automotive and Grid Storage OEMs, major battery manufacturers and global Tier 1 system developers and suppliers. Attendees will also get an exclusive opportunity to tour INTERTEK Battery Testing Center of Excellence in Plymouth, MI (USA) firsthand, ask questions to resident experts, and enjoy some light appetizers and beverages while networking with industry peers. Register here.
Save the dates Aug. 6-9 for the Mid-America Regulatory Conference (MARC) Annual Meeting at the JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids.
Michigan EIBC member Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Tech just launched the MI Climate Wise Business Program. Through this new initiative, Centrepolis’s project partner Fresh Coast Climate Solutions is offering complimentary technical assistance to small and medium sized businesses located in southeast Michigan. Selected applicants will advance sustainability and climate-related goals across one or more of the following areas: Climate + Sustainability Readiness, ESG Program Development, Alternative Materials and Reduction, Solution Implementation and Electrification. Interested companies can learn more by visiting the program website. Applicants should complete this application form by May 12.
Indiana Michigan Power Co. has issued its 2023 All-Source RFP. Proposals are due May 26. Find the RFP documents and more information here.
Consumers Energy Company has announced it will seek competitive bids in response to a RFP from participants in the MISO Energy Market in accordance with the Company’s expansion of the Voluntary Green Pricing (“VGP”) Program. With this RFP, Consumers Energy will solicit proposals for solar and wind generation projects, separate and distinct from the ongoing Consumers Energy 2022 IRP RFP for solar generation projects. The draft RFP and associated documents are available here, with the final versions expected to be available in late May.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Buildings Upgrade Prize (Buildings UP) is offering more than $22 million in cash prizes and technical assistance to teams across America with winning ideas to accelerate widespread, equitable energy efficiency and building electrification upgrades. Follow Buildings UP on HeroX.com for all prize-related updates. Phase 1 submissions are due by July 18.