This newsletter was originally published on August 18, 2017.
Department of Energy Releases 2016 Wind Technologies Market Report
The US Department of Energy released its 2016 Wind Technologies Market Report, which found that U.S. wind energy almost doubled from 2011 to 2016. The report highlighted the top six states for small-scale distributed wind installations for 2016 – Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Massachusetts, California, and Ohio.
The report also raised concerns that weakening federal incentives could negatively impact the industry’s growth going forward.
Next Month: Powering Mobility Conference
The fourth annual Michigan Energy Conference is scheduled for September 25th at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. This year’s conference, Powering Mobility, focuses on the nexus between vehicle electrification and advanced mobility solutions, including automation, connectivity, and infrastructure development. Panel topics include the shift from personal to shared vehicles, advancements in electrification and fuel cell development, the growth of smart cities, infrastructure challenges, and more.
The all-day conference will feature talks from automotive industry leaders, energy storage experts, regulators and policymakers.
The event is a collaboration between the following organizations:
For a detailed agenda and to register, see the conference website.
Heelstone Energy is a leading independent power producer and solar developer with expertise across the solar value chain. Heelstone is heavily involved in the development, construction, financing and operation of high value solar photovoltaic assets, having brought over 50 projects with an aggregate capacity of 275mw to operation. By investing in local communities and partnering with local developers and contractors, Heelstone works to advance clean energy goals across the United States.
TRC Environmental is considered a pioneer in groundbreaking scientific and engineering developments since the 1960s, TRC is a national engineering services, consulting and construction management firm that provides integrated services to the energy, environmental and infrastructure markets. TRCserves a broad range of clients in government and industry, implementing complex projects from initial concept to delivery and operation.
With Midwest offices in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin, TRC has worked with developers, utilities, and government agencies to provide efficient, cost-effective support on both large and small utility and distributed generation-scale solar and wind projects. TRC’s solar and wind expertise includes permitting support, site selection, impact assessment, engineering, design and handling interconnection issues.
CLEAResult makes energy efficiency smarter, faster and more accessible for everyone. We work with utilities, businesses and consumers to improve the energy experience on a local and global level — and we’re just getting started. We offer a comprehensive set of energy programs and demand-side management strategies. Our energy experts design and maintain energy optimization services for utility companies as well as institutional, commercial and industrial organizations. We deliver solutions that lower load requirements for utilities, reduce energy bills for end users and minimize environmental burdens on communities. Every day, in every way possible, we change the way people use energy.
FirstFuel Software is the global leader in customer engagement for energy providers and their business customers. Our cloud based customer engagement platform delivers accurate, insightful, and scalable customer intelligence to over 30 energy providers in North America and Europe, helping them improve business customer satisfaction, reduce service costs, and drive revenue growth. Using proprietary analytics to turn complex data into actionable insights, our platform is designed to supplement and strengthen your customer engagement channels including digital/web, outbound marketing, phone-based sales and service, and live account management. By combining data science, building science, and software, our SaaS platform derives intelligence from over 4 million business customer meters and transforms energy providers into trusted advisers to their business customers.
Michigan Saves is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making energy improvements easy and affordable. We operate as a green bank to offer financing programs that help Michigan residents take control of their energy costs through efficiency and renewable projects.
Michigan CAT is Michigan’s premier provider of turnkey Combined Heat & Power (CHP or Cogen) systems. We have the expertise to optimize a CHP system for your facility and the boots on the ground to make sure you get the most out of your investment. Plus, as your Caterpillar dealer, only we can offer best in class CAT power generation equipment that is built in the USA.
Michigan CAT is also recognized as a leader in providing landfill solutions. Decades of leadership in converting landfill gas to viable energy mean millions of “green” kilowatts provided. Our CHP; Landfill customers include operations across the nation-with hundreds of generators operating in diverse applications.
Michigan Energy News:
- The Michigan Agency for Energy has announced a Request for Proposals for $100,000 in grants for energy efficiency or renewable energy projects with a public benefit.
- Michigan Agency for Energy Director Valerie Brader and MPSC Chairman Sally Talberg confirmed that the new energy laws would continue to be a top priority.
- Rep. Gary Glenn, House Energy Chairman, sent a letter to the MPSC arguing that their approach to cases involving the two largest utilities in the state, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy, risks violating state energy law.
- DTE Energy is “making its last stand” in a seven-year court battle over millions of dollars in penalties it faces from upgrades at a coal plant.
- The Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Regional Commission will offer workshops in the coming months on Energy Efficiency Education for small business and agricultural producers and Website Building 101 for local units of government.
- The Indiana-based Power Bureau released an analysis of the Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. proposal to build natural gas stations here in the UP, which revealed that it would not be cost effective as the company has stated and the company should have considered alternatives.
- DTE Energy is issuing shut-off notices to customers who refuse to switch to smart meters.
- A new biorefinery plant is in the works in the UP.
- General Motors is expanding its Maven Gig rental service to freelance drivers, including ride-hailing and delivery drivers. The system is only available in certain California cities so far, with plans for expansion into Boston, Phoenix, D.C., Baltimore, and Detroit.
- Tesla is continuing to fight against a Michigan sales law.
- A new report finds Michigan ratepayers could save billions over the coming decades by shifting to electric vehicles.
News from Washington:
- Some White House and Republican officials are considering West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin to lead the U.S. Department of Energy.
- California’s attorney general is suing the EPA for documents to determine whether Administrator Scott Pruitt has a conflict of interest.
- EPA employees say Scott Pruitt is taking extraordinary measures to conceal his actions at the agency.
- An EPA report found that the Clean Air Act in 1970 had no measurable impact on economic growth, which may help the case of advocates who say environmental regulations don’t harm industry.
- The EPA and the Department of Transportation announced an effort to review and relax Obama-era GHG emissions rules for cars.
- A U.S. appeals court agreed to delay litigation over the Clean Power Plan for 60 days.
- The Sierra Club is seeking to force the Energy Department to reveal the groups it consulted with in developing its grid reliability study.
Cities and Communities Leading in Advanced Energy:
- Rhode Island’s governor signed bills to expand the state’s clean energy industry, which includes adding 400 MW of solar and wind capacity between 2020 and 2029.
- Orlando, Florida, committed to using 100% renewable energy by 2050, joining 37 other U.S. cities.
- New Mexico residents tell regulators that a local utility should be investing more in renewable energy — not seeking rate increases to pay for coal-burning plants and out-of-state nuclear power.
National Grid and Efficiency News:
- Critics say an Iowa utility’s proposed green-pricing program comes with a high premium and no guarantee that it will lead to additional advanced energy.
- Minnesota and Illinois joined other states in using a social cost of carbon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector.
- Wisconsin regulators approved a two-year rate freeze for We Energies electric and gas customers. Questions remain about when the utility will cover hundreds of millions of dollars in deferred costs.
- An Arizona utility decided it would be cheaper to use a grid-scale battery to power a small town northeast of Phoenix than to upgrade 20 miles of cables.
- A demand response provider and behind-the-meter battery startup are combining their technologies into an “integrated solution for managing electricity demand.”
- Tesla has helped the Hawaiian island of Kauai by installing a combined solar-and-storage plant with enough energy to power 4,500 homes for four hours.
- Tucson Electric signed a solar-plus-storage power purchase agreement for an “all-in cost significantly less than $0.045/kWh over 20 years.”
National Solar News:
- Across the country, state utility regulators are revisiting net metering policies and are not necessarily receptive to utility proposals.
- Companies petitioning for a tariff on imported solar panels claim it would create nearly 150,000 jobs. Opponents say this claim is “preposterous.”
- A bipartisan group of 16 senators told the International Trade Commission that tariffs on imported solar equipment could severely hurt the industry.
- Developers are moving forward with plans for a 52-MW solar project, which would be the South Dakota’s first utility-scale array.
- Mistakes in a New Jersey solar project may end up costing residents more than $26 million.
- Rocky Mountain Power is starting an initiative to let Utah solar subscribers go online and view their individual panels using a solar plant map.
- Ohio advocates are leading a new program that aims to reduce the “soft costs” of residential solar installations in the state’s Appalachian coal region.
- In response to upcoming net metering changes, officials in Bloomington, Indiana, voted to fast-track plans to install solar panels at 30 different sites by the end of the year.
- A series of solar installations under construction in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will power drinking water booster stations.
- An Illinois YMCA will save $3,000 a year after installing solar panels on the roof.
- An Iowa church is installing solar panels “as a part of Pope Francis’ call to care for the earth.”
- Solar advocates in Utah are opposing a utility company’s plan to raise rates for residential solar customers which “would be some of the most regressive in the nation.”
- California regulators approved a utility proposal to shift their peak time-of-use periods, despite solar groups arguing that the move goes against established methodology.
- Plans are underway for a 20 MW solar project on a capped landfill in Maine.
- Major solar companies are opposing a planned rate structure overhaul by Nevada’s largest utility.
National Wind News:
- The CEO of DONG Energy said advanced energy is cost and price competitive with other energy systems after announcing a second-quarter profit for the company and a strong position for its future as an offshore wind developer.
- A new report offers an illustrated guide to the increasing size of wind turbines.
- South Dakota regulators will consider plans for a new 400 MW wind project.
- The fifth phase of an Indiana wind project will come online in the next month.
- An Iowa utility is introducing new technology in its turbines to allow them to generate electricity at higher wind speeds.
- An Iowa utility is introducing new technology in its wind turbines that allow them to generate electricity at higher wind speeds.
- An Indiana resident seeks local permission to install a 10 kW wind turbine on his property.
- Wind projects are cutting into Nebraska’s coal consumption.
- Michigan EIBC member company Invenergy and GE Renewable Energy began construction of their 2,000 MW wind farm in Oklahoma, which is slated to be the largest in the U.S. and the second largest in the world.
- Opponents of a Maine wind farm appealed to county officials to block the project.
- While small, distributed wind installations are growing in popularity in Ohio, the state still lags in utility-scale wind projects due largely to opposition from state lawmakers.
National Fossil Fuel News:
- According to a new report, the number of North American oil companies filing for bankruptcy fell from 50 to 14 compared to the previous year.
- Environmentalists are asking Maryland officials to reject a proposed 3.5-mile underground natural gas pipeline that would run under the Potomac River.
- A proposed natural gas export terminal on Oregon’s coast may be revived by new FERC commissioners.
- The company that supplies lignite coal to Mississippi’s Kemper power plant will lay off 75 workers at its mine following the announcement that the plant will no longer pursue “clean coal.”
National Technology and Market News:
- Contura Energy Inc. canceled plans to go public due to market conditions.
- Target is set to buy 100 MW of wind power from a project in Kansas.
- General Motors says its SUV assembly plant in Arlington, Texas, will run off 100% wind power by the end of the year.
National Vehicle and Mobility News:
- A new company will start selling and leasing medium-duty electric trucks within weeks.
- California lawmakers are considering a bill that would give larger rebates to residents who buy electric cars or plug-in hybrids.
- The Oklahoma Sierra Club is suing to strike down a bill that imposes a registration fee on electric and hybrid vehicles.
- Electric vehicles and cheap oil disrupted a push to fuel cars with natural gas.
Michigan Energy Events:
Technology in Motion Detroit is taking place September 6-8 at the Cobo Center. The event will bring together OEM’s, suppliers and the tech community to establish the preeminent mobility event in Detroit. Technological advancements in autonomous and electric vehicles, connected cars, shared economy and digital consumer experiences are just a few of the areas that will be featured at TIM ’17. Register here.
The Powering Mobility conference will take place on September 25 at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. The event, which is the 4th Annual Michigan Energy Future Conference, will bring together leaders from industry, government, utilities, finance, and academe working at the nexus of advanced mobility and vehicle electrification.
The 1st Annual Sustainable Detroit Forum is scheduled for October 25. The event will consist of interactive learning, keynotes, and short presentations. Proposals for presentations will be accepted for Sustainable Projects, Personal Green Stories, and Lessons Learned/Greatest Failures.
NextEnergy invites you to the Autonomy & Mobility Conference on October 25 in Detroit. Autonomy & Mobility 2017 will provide an open forum for all participants to share ideas. In addition to focused sessions with leading experts, the event will culminate in a unique, interactive exchange among panelists and attendees. Register here.
National Energy Events:
Mark your calendars for the Catalysts of the Climate Economy summit in Burlington, Vermont, September 6-8. This event will focus on ways to accelerate economic development for a low-carbon future. The event will feature speakers, round-table discussions, and other forums with entrepreneurs, investors, and thoughts leaders. Speakers include EIBC member company Generate Capital’s Jigar Shah; Danny Kennedy of the CA Clean Energy Fund; Carol Browner, Former Climate and Energy Czar in the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy; and CEOs and leaders from Patagonia, Green Mountain Power, Stonyfield Yogurt, General Motors, Seventh Generation, Ben and Jerry’s, Fetzer Vineyards, Proterra, Generation Investment Management, and more!
Solar Power International will take place September 10-13 in Las Vegas. Powered by the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Smart Electric Power Alliance, SPI is the largest and fastest growing solar show in North America.
Renewable Energy Grid Operations: Integration, Forecasting, Modeling, Planning and Curtailment, hosted by EUCI, is scheduled for September 11-12 in Austin, Texas. This conference will evaluate the biggest challenges to renewable energy integration, and identify solutions and pathways that coordinate responses and overcome these challenges. Case studies from experts and industry professionals from around the country will share their experiences and lessons learned on renewable integration. Register here.
ACORE Finance West will take place in San Francisco on October 12. The annual conference highlights top investment opportunities and provide the latest insights on the financing of renewable energy and grid modernization efforts in leading western markets.
Join SEIA and Smart Electric Power Alliance for Solar Power Midwest in Chicago, October 19-20. The event features multiple networking and educational opportunities with a targeted, buying audience.
The 2017 U.S. Power and Renewables Summit will take place in Austin on November 7-8. The conference, hosted by Greentech Media, provides an in-depth look at how solar, wind, and related renewable energy technologies are impacting power markeys, and how this interaction is raising key questions and challenges for the industry moving forward.
The U.S. Energy Storage Summit 2017 is taking place December 12-13 in San Francisco. Now in its third year, this event brings together utilities, financiers, regulators, technology innovators, and storage practitioners for two full days of data-intensive presentations, analyst-led panel sessions with industry leaders, and extensive, high-level networking.
A website from the Michigan Public Service Commission provides details on updates to state energy laws. For more information, or to sign up for notifications, visit www.michigan.gov/energylegislation.
World Resources Institute recently published an Implementation Guide for Utilities, outlining best practices in designing renewable energy projects to meet large energy customers’ needs.
ARPA-E announced up to $20 million in funding for high efficiency Distributed Generation systems to reduce the cost and increase the energy efficiency associated with providing electric power to commercial and industrial end users. Additional information, including the full FOA and how to find project teaming partners, is available on ARPA-E’s online application portal, ARPA-E eXCHANGE.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is initiating a three-year analytical support program for state public utility commissions (PUCs). PUCs will have access to in-depth analytical support from the national laboratories on topics related to distribution utility planning and regulatory, policy, programmatic, and technology assessments of distributed energy resources (DER). The national laboratories will work with up to five PUCs over the course of one year, beginning in October 2017, to provide neutral decision support through data-driven modeling, tools, and direct technical assistance from subject matter experts. Assistance may include: analysis support; stakeholder-convened discussions; education and training through workshops and webinars; and consultations with technical experts. Applications can be downloaded here.