- 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:
Budget Bills With Energy Provisions Now Working Way Through Legislature
Bills to enact Michigan’s 2023-24 budget are now being considered in the state House and Senate appropriations committees, with the fate of several significant energy-related provisions to be determined.
“Both the House and Senate are relatively close to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s recommendations for the budget though there are some notable differences from program to program,” Gongwer reported about the bills. Gov. Whitmer’s recommendations from her executive budget released earlier this year included some major clean energy proposals, as we covered at the time.
The bills introduced to the House and Senate retain several of the governor’s proposals, such as:
- $150 million for EV school buses (HB 4286); $75 million for EV school bus grants (SB 173)
- $55 million in federal Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund to expand access to EV charging (HB 4246); $40 million (SB 194)
- $40 million for grants for communities to implement advanced energy projects (HB 4249); $15 million (SB 199)
- $10 million for state fleet electrification (HB 4292)
- $5 million for clean energy financing run by Michigan EIBC member Michigan Saves (HB 4280 and SB 195)
Other energy-related recommendations from the executive budget, such as funding for more weatherization retrofits, may be included in later supplemental budgets to the legislation. We will continue to monitor the progress of the state budget.
Business Groups Urge Swift Passage of C-PACE Legislation
Michigan lawmakers should take swift action passing recently-introduced bills on commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing to “expand access to this valuable financing tool to more energy efficiency, renewable energy, and waste remediation projects,” according to a letter sent this week to Sen. Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo), chair of the Michigan Senate Energy & Environment Committee.
The letter was signed by Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman, Michigan EIBC member Lean & Green Michigan President and General Counsel Todd Williams, Michigan EIBC member PACE Loan Group Chief Operating Officer Bali Kumar and C-PACE Alliance Executive Director Clifton Kellogg.
“We represent diverse industries and communities that have benefitted from the use of Michigan’s CPACE program and can attest to how C-PACE can improve business operations, revitalize communities, provide access to favorable financing, lower energy bills, and make properties more valuable – all while creating jobs in the process,” the letter stated.
The bills, SB 302 and SB 303, would expand C-PACE financing by allowing more types of projects, such as those involving environmental remediation, to qualify for C-PACE financing and reducing barriers for property owners to pursue C-PACE loans.
Williams recently spoke further about the benefits of the legislation in an interview with Michigan Radio.
EV Ride and Drive Event Held At State Capitol
On Tuesday at the state capitol Michigan EIBC, along with Clean Fuels Michigan and the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum, organized an EV Ride and Drive in which legislators and legislative staff were able to check out and ride in some of the latest EV models, including electrician school buses and semi trucks. “When you have kind of peak demand during the day, you can basically take some of the energy from the school bus, and use it to even out energy on the grid,” Michigan EIBC Director of Policy Justin Carpenter told local reporters.
“”We’ve got electric vehicles available for test drives, as well as static display vehicles and electric vehicle charging station exhibitors underneath the tent on the Capitol lawn to display the breadth of the electric vehicle industry to our state’s policymakers,” Clean Fuels Michigan Executive Director Jane McCurry was quoted as saying by another local news report.
Check out some photos of the event:
Michigan Energy News
- The American Society of Civil Engineers issues its five-year report rating Michigan’s infrastructure, finding that the resiliency of the state’s electric grid is lacking.
- In a move that could encourage the purchase of electric school buses, Gov. Whitmer signs a bill that expands how school districts can pay for transportation.
- Michigan EIBC member GM joins Consumers Energy’s Business Renewable Energy Program, in which the company matches its energy use with wind and solar energy produced by the utility.
- Experts warn how Michigan’s time-of-use rates can affect vulnerable customers.
- As the two-year anniversary of Gov. Whitmer’s deadline for Enbridge to shut down the Line 5 pipeline approaches, environmental groups are renewing calls for the Biden administration to close the line.
National Energy News
- Proposed carbon pollution standards for new and existing power plants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are “a critical tool to ramp down carbon pollution from new and existing power plants and an essential step to protect the American people from the worst impacts of climate change,” Evergreen Action Executive Director Lena Moffitt writes in a statement.
- The U.S. Department of Energy proposes a framework for designating specific transmission projects as National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors.
- The U.S. Department of Energy is “completely ignoring” the Inflation Reduction Act’s extension of tax credits for insulation improvements, the head of an insulation manufacturing trade association says.
- New Mexico utility PNM proposes a 12-MW battery storage project that would function as a non-wires alternative for addressing overloaded distribution system feeders.
- California utility regulators are implementing fixed fees that vary by income.
SunVest Solar, LLC
Solar Developer of Commercial/Industrial roof top and Community Solar Gardens.
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 Manager of Policy and Market Strategy (West) is at the forefront of distributed solar policy and will help guide the company’s development and advocacy strategies. Pivot operates nationwide, actively developing and owning commercial solar, community solar, small-utility and battery storage projects in more than a dozen states. We are also one of the leading low-income community solar providers. In an industry defined by regulation and legislation, it is an essential advantage to assess the impact of existing and new policies quickly and accurately, as well as to proactively shape policies where necessary.
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.