Newsletter: Detroit Corporate Energy Purchasers Conference to Highlight Growing Corporate Demand for Advanced Energy

This newsletter was originally published on November 20, 2015.

Detroit Corporate Energy Purchasers Conference to Highlight Growing Corporate Demand for Advanced Energy

The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, together with Advanced Energy Economy, CERES, the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, and the World Resources Institute, are hosting a one-day conference Corporate Access to Advanced Energy: The Growth of Market Demand for Clean Energy Solutions on February 2 at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit.  The conference – which is also the 3rd annual Michigan Energy Futures event – will bring together thought leaders from the world’s most dynamic corporations who are investing in advanced energy projects across the globe.

Advanced energy procurement and onsite energy management have recently emerged as a core corporate strategy, aided by the improving economics of renewable energy resources.  Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and many other leading multinational companies have set goals to derive 100 percent of their power from renewable energy sources.  An increasing number of Fortune 500 companies, including General Motors, Johnson & Johnson and Bloomberg have signed on to the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers Principles, aimed at securing better access to renewable energy from utility electric providers.  Financial institutions including, Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo are investing hundreds of billions of dollars in advanced energy.  

The 3rd Annual Michigan Energy Conference will explore the considerations that are driving business acquisition of advanced energy resources, how emerging advanced energy technologies and business models are impacting business performance and regional competitiveness, and the extent to which access to advanced energy is affecting new corporate investment and locational decisions.  The conference will be one of the first of its kind to bring together high profile corporate leaders in what has become an important international dialogue on accelerating opportunities to source, procure and manage 21st Century energy resources.  

We have secured Adam Kramer, VP of Strategy at Switch, to provide the industry keynote for the conference. Switch has been much in the news for its recent announcement that it will develop a $5 billion data center in the Grand Rapids area, creating 1000 jobs in the process. Switch has been a leading corporate purchaser of advanced energy solutions, working through its utility provider to purchase the output of a 120 MW solar development to power its operations in Nevada.

This conference announcement comes at an active time in the corporate energy purchasing discussion. Last week, more than 160 company executives gathered at Bloomberg’s New York City headquarters for a meeting of Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center (BRC). This is just the latest in many indicators of corporations’ fast-growing interest in purchasing large amounts of renewable energy. Since its previous semiannual meeting in May in San Francisco, the BRC’s membership has more than doubled. BRC companies now represent total annual revenues of $1.3 trillion, global annual electricity consumption of 41.7 TWh (equivalent to ~3.8 million American homes), and for publicly traded companies, a collective market capitalization of $2.14 trillion.

Still with two months left in the year, 2015 is already setting out to be a record-breaking year in the world of corporate purchasing of renewable energy. From January 1 to November 17 of this year, corporations have purchased 2 GW of power purchase agreements (PPAs) in large-scale wind and solar projects. Last year was already a record breaking year for purchasing, with 1.7 GW in PPAs.

Additional information on the Corporate Pathways to Advanced Energy conference, including additional speakers and panel topics and moderators, will be rolled out over the next several weeks. So save the date for this exciting conference to be held on February 2 at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit!


New Michigan EIBC Members

Apex Clean Energy

Apex Clean Energy is an independent renewable energy company focused on building utility-scale generation facilities. We create value throughout the asset life cycle, from site origination and financing to turnkey construction and long-term asset management. Our business plan is based on the premise that clean energy resources are valuable. Like conventional energy companies, we secure rights to these resources and invest to commercialize them.

Apex is building one of the nation’s largest, most diversified portfolios of renewable energy resources, capable of producing over 12,000 MW of clean energy.



Invenergy develops, owns, and operates power generation and energy storage facilities in North America and Europe. We have a proven track record in establishing and maintaining longstanding, profitable relationships with utilities, suppliers, and the communities in which our projects are located.

Invenergy has developed more than 9,938 MW of utility-scale renewable and natural gas-fueled power generation and energy storage facilities in the United States, Canada, and Europe. This includes more than 8,730 MW of projects in operation, with more than 1,207 MW under contract or in construction. We are North America’s largest independent wind power generation company.


Michigan Energy News

Gongwer News Service reports that the Michigan Chamber of Commerce is working on proposed changes to HB 4298 and how it affects retail open access. The story did not have any information on if the Chamber is working on any changes to it’s companion legislation, HB 4297, and how it effects renewables and energy efficiency.

Gongwer also has a piece on a new 501c4 advocacy group, Unleash Michigan’s Power, buying radio ads calling for competitive bidding processes for new generation.

The Detroit News has an analysis of the Nesbitt energy package and where the governor and different legislative groups align. The Free Press also has a story on the energy reform package and possible action this December.


National Energy News

Utility Dive has a feature on the future of solar power with the possible stepping-down of the federal investment tax credit.

Bloomberg also has a story about the federal ITC’s scheduled reduction and the future of the solar industry.

Utility Dive also has a story on rate design and the future of fixed rates.

UPI has a piece about how Wind Power is becoming a “mainstream power source,” according to a DOE report.

Utility Dive has a piece on Wisconsin-based Madison Gas and Electric Co. (MGE) unveiling a plan to get to 30 percent renewables by 2030.

Renew Economy has a story on wind and solar beating conventional sources in prices, according to US investment bank Lazard.

Utility Dive has a piece on Oregon passing the second energy storage mandate in the county.

Utility Dive has a story on the Washington, DC, PACE program financing new LED lighting for affordable housing.

Michigan Energy Events
Save the Date: Michigan EIBC is partnering with a number of other organizations for a Corporate Pathways to Renewable Energy conference on Monday, February 2, 2016 in Detroit. The keynote address will be presented by Adam Kramer, VP of Strategy at Switch. Additional details and speakers will be released soon.

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.