Newsletter: Community Solar Hearing, Detroit Clean Economy Summit and More

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:


Senate Committee Hears from Supporters of Community Solar Legislation

Lawmakers, solar developers, representatives of environmental and environmental justice groups and a landowner all testified before a Michigan Senate Energy and Environment Committee hearing on June 13 in favor of bills to create a robust community solar market in Michigan.

The bills, SB 152 and SB 153would create a legal path forward for community solar projects by requiring utilities to provide bill credits to community solar subscribers, among other steps, and include provisions to ensure that at least 30% of electricity generated by these credits go toward low-income households or low-income service organizations.

Michigan EIBC has advocated these bills since they were introduced in 2023, and Michigan EIBC Director of Policy Justin Carpenter reiterated that support in a statement issued the day of the hearing. “Michigan EIBC and our members are strongly supportive of legislation to enable true community solar projects across the state,” he said. “These projects bring a multitude of benefits to communities, farmers, and ratepayers from the rural Upper Peninsula to the neighborhoods of Detroit. The Michigan Legislature should pass Senate Bills 152 and 153 this year to ensure we don’t miss out on these opportunities.”

Among those who testified at the hearing was Dan Kelly, who owns a small lavender farm in the Thumb. He said he supports the bills because of the potential of community solar as a “land preservation vehicle” for farms like his. “A community solar project on our property makes our farm productive financially, creates more stability for our business, contributes to our retirement and creates an inheritance opportunity for our children. This kind of rental income stability gives us the chance to keep a 40-acre original homestead intact,” Kelly said.

Highland Park, a city surrounded by the City of Detroit, has been interested in community solar to help its low-income residents who suffer from poor reliability and high electric bills. Rachel Edwards-Mosby, general manager of Highland Park’s Polar Bear Sustainable Energy Cooperative, said in an interview with MIRS that “there’s a plethora of things that homeowners need before you (can) get an array on top of your home. If you can’t do that, you’re kind of just shut out of bringing clean energy into your home without community solar. If you’re a renter, you can’t put panels or an array on top of your house.”

The bills would open up new possibilities for Highland Park, she said. “We have talked about even working with business owners in Highland Park specifically. You’ve got those big factories that have flat roofs. Maybe we could put some solar panels on top of those, and do some kind of model where we distribute that energy to some co-op members,” Edwards-Mosby said.


From left: Zach Friedman, director, federal policy at Michigan EIBC trade organization member Ceres, Laura Sherman, Michigan EIBC President, Kerry Duggan, CEO, Michigan EIBC member SustainabiliD

Michigan EIBC President, Detroit Mayor and More Speak at Clean Economy and Community Impact Summit in Detroit

This Monday at the Emerson Collective’s Clean Economy and Community Impact Summit at Detroit’s Charles White African American Museum, leaders including Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Governor Gretchen Whitmer spoke. The invite also included a panel consisting of Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman and Zach Friedman, director of federal policy at Michigan EIBC trade organization member Ceres, moderated by Kerry Duggan, CEO of Michigan EIBC member SustainabiliD.

Duggan spoke about the City of Detroit’s plans to reduce emissions from the building sector with the help of federal grants and tax incentives. “Can you imagine the national story if the city of Detroit has all 127 municipal buildings from fossil fuels to renewables over the next two years?” Duggan said, as reported by Gongwer.

During the panel, Sherman talked about how economics has made clean energy projects by Detroit and others in Michigan possible. “There’s been huge cost declines in the cost of renewables over the last decade,” she said. “Solar has come down by 85 percent over the last 10 years, wind by 68 percent over the same time period. These are affordable. They make sense from a business standpoint. They also make sense from a consumer standpoint; the businesses are demanding, and the costs are coming down.”

Friedman talked about specific examples of Michigan businesses that have taken advantage of federal incentives. “This is homegrown Michigan energy, creativity from the private sector, leveraging state and federal incentives to reduce costs and make sure that we’re producing great Michigan products,” he said.

IEI Holds Transportation Electrification Educational Session for Lawmakers in Lansing

The Institute for Energy Innovation held the latest in its line of Energy 101 Lunch and Learn networking and educational sessions for lawmakers and legislative staff on June 12 at the Anderson House Office Building in Lansing. The topic was “Transportation Electrification and the State Budget” and Michigan EIBC Senior Director of Policy Grace Michienzi moderated a panel consisting of several representatives of Michigan EIBC member companies:

Cory Bullis – FLO EV Charging
Jason Puscas – Bollinger Motors
Michelle Elder – BorgWarner

Here are some photos from the event!


New Member

Absolute Solar
Michigan based solar installation company offering comprehensive solar energy solutions and professional electrical services for homes and businesses.


Renewing Members

Helios Solar, LLC

Helios Solar provides turnkey solutions for Utility, Commercial, and Residential Photovoltaic Installations. Our founding principles of Environment, Economics, and Engineering guide our practices with the goal of designing and constructing the most efficient, value driven solar installations possible.


The leading global ESG firm working across sectors to equitably solve the climate crisis. As a woman-owned, diverse small business, we are uniquely qualified to provide bespoke strategic guidance.

Michigan Energy News

  • DTE plans to replace the former coal-fired Trenton Channel power plant with a 220-MW battery storage facility that could be the biggest project of its kind on the Great Lakes once built.
  • Consumers Energy begins work to bury two miles of power lines, part of a larger project to shift 10 miles underground.
  • Bridge Michigan publishes an update on the progress of battery and EV “mega projects” that are being subsidized by the state.
  • A Michigan House committee advances a bill that would allow heavier electric trucks on roads.

National Energy News

  • Michigan EIBC member FLO secures $136 million in long-term capital to grow the company’s charging network in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Local and state opposition to renewable energy projects has grown significantly in the past year, according to a new Columbia University report.
  • EVs, batteries and other residential distributed energy resources can cover expected growth in peak demand through 2035 at a lower cost than building new infrastructure, according to a Deloitte report.
  • A variety of methods to “hurricane-proof” solar panels are being tested.

Job Board

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 Please include in the email a specific end date for the job posting.


Vice President (VP), Program Support & Engagement. Location: Remote.

The Vice President (VP), Program Support & Engagement, oversees program support operations, marketing, and the adoption of Elevate’s strategic priorities for Diversity, Racial Equity and Inclusion within programs we implement. The role is responsible for leading these teams in successfully meeting their goals and objectives, including ensuring teams are within budget and management is efficient and consistent across areas; the role also ensures that all teams have sufficient resources and structure to meet the program goals they support. The VP, Support Systems is part of Elevate’s senior leadership team and oversees all facets of program support, marketing, and DREI initiatives while leading strategic planning, relationship management, and continuous improvement. This position requires program administration knowledge, people management expertise, flexibility, relationship management with key partners, and the ability to manage time effectively between a diverse set of tasks and teams.

Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion Lead. Location: Chicago.
The Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion (DREI) Lead is responsible for the development and implementation (integration) of initiatives that promote diversity, racial equity, and inclusion (DREI) aligning with Elevate’s core vision, mission, values, and goals. The DREI Lead will work closely with the DREI support team and others, as needed, to ensure integration of DREI principles throughout Elevate programs, processes and practices, execute on strategic priorities, and drive successful outcomes. This Lead will serve as the subject matter expert on DREI and provide vision, expertise, and counsel on matters of diversity initiatives, strategic planning, education and research, and program implementation.


Michigan and National Energy Events

The 68th Annual Michigan Energy Providers Conference will be held at the Grand Traverse Resort July 25-26Register here.

Michigan EIBC trade organization member American Clean Power is holding a lunch celebrating Michigan’s progress on clean energy featuring Reps. Abraham Aiyash and Ranjeev Puri and Sen. Sam Singh on Aug. 14 at The Henry Ford in Dearborn. Please RSVP here by July 10.



The Michigan Public Service Commission has created a website tracking its progress implementing Public Acts 229, 231, 233, 234, and 235, passed on Nov. 8, 2023 and signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Nov. 28.

Michigan EGLE is launching the Renewables Ready Communities Award (RRCA), which makes Michigan municipalities that have, on or after October 1, 2023, begun physically hosting and performing local permitting for any portion of an eligible renewable energy project eligible for awards of $5,000 per MW. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until Sept. 30. More information on this opportunity can be found on the RRCA Webpage.

Michigan EGLE is offering at least $320,000 in funding MI Solar Communities-MI Solar Access Program. Applications will be accepted through March 31, 2025, or when funding is expended, whichever comes first. Find the request for proposals for MI Solar Access here.