Newsletter: DTE Distribution Grid Plan, Behind-The-Meter Storage Bills 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:


DTE headquarters in Detroit. Source: JK Nair.

DTE Distribution Grid Plan Needs to Be Modernized, Michigan EIBC and Advanced Energy United Argue

DTE’s plan for improving the distribution grid plan over the next several years overlooks the role of customer- or third-party-owned distributed energy, non-wires alternatives, vehicle-to-grid charging and more and should be amended to include better appreciation of these innovative technologies, Michigan EIBC and Advanced Energy United argued in comments recently submitted to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). 

“DTE fails to consider that a modernized grid will invite new marketplace participants and actively encourage adoption of DERs, EVs, and other advanced technologies for the benefits that they will bring to the grid and customers,” the comments said. “DTE’s failure to cast a broad net will be a loss for Michigan, as advanced energy and transportation technologies can lead to benefits for its economy, ratepayers, and job market for years to come.”

DTE’s 2023 Distribution Grid Plan (DGP) is meant to be the company’s comprehensive plan for how to confront its problems with reliability and resiliency. But the DGP is not up to date with the ways rooftop solar, battery storage and other innovative approaches are up for the task of dealing with these problems, as Michigan EIBC and United argue in their comments.

For example, DTE’s DGP does not include updated projections for the amount of distributed energy and energy efficiency that can help with reliability and resiliency that is likely to grow due to the new clean energy laws passed at the end of 2023. Our comments called for the DGP to be updated accordingly.

DTE also overlooks ways that it could adopt more innovative technologies. “DTE proposes to spend approximately $25 billion to convert portions of its electric grid from 4.8 kV to 13.2 kV,” our comments said. “This investment could support increased automation, hosting capacity, and grid modernization, but it is not clear from the Plan specifically how DTE plans to ensure that these investments will drive grid modernization and increased deployment of DERs, demand response, microgrids, and [non-wires alternatives].”

When it comes to EVs, the comments argue DTE is too restrictive by assuming that calls for EV deployment made in the MI Healthy Climate Plan, which projected Michigan needs to have 2 million EVs on the roads by 2030, are an upper limit for the amount of EVs rather than a plausible scenario. On a related note, the DGP fails to consider the benefits that vehicle-to-grid charging can bring right now, not just down the road. Our comments recommend that the DGP be amended to better recognize vehicle-to-grid charging and propose ways to leverage it for the grid.

New Bills Would Help Build More Customer-Sited Solar and Storage

New legislation introduced to the Michigan Senate by Sen. Sue Shink (D-Northfield Township) last week would significantly lower the costs of distributed solar and battery storage installations and create a process for them to provide benefits to the distribution grid. These bills are the same as bills introduced last year to the House of Representatives by Rep. Jenn Hill (D-Marquette) and Rep. Donavan McKinney (D-Detroit) (HB 4839 and HB 4840).

SB 772 would provide customers with rebates of $500 per kilowatt for a new solar system and $300 per kilowatt-hour for a new battery storage system, doubling the size of those rebates for low- and middle-income families. Meanwhile, SB 773 would require the MPSC to develop rules governing the connection of these kinds of behind-the-meter systems to the grid, including how they could provide distribution grid benefits.

“We know Michigan residents want more clean energy and installing solar panels with a back-up battery is a smart way to do just that,” Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman said in a press release. “Investing in solar and battery storage systems allows consumers to generate their own power and support the grid, which is good for our economy and good for our communities. We want to thank lawmakers in the Senate for introducing these bills.” 

“I know many of my constituents want to protect their families from frequent and prolonged power outages and see clean energy, particularly solar, as a way to safeguard themselves and their families,” Sen. Shink said in the statement. “I’m excited to introduce this rebate incentive for Michigan consumers and urge my colleagues to take the bills up soon.”

“Lawmakers have the opportunity to empower consumers and their communities with this bill package, which is why we are supportive of Senate Bills 772 and 773,” Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition Co-Executive Director Juan Jhong-Chung said in the release. “There are too many Michigan residents, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color, living with unreliable power — losing food, medicine, breast milk and other critical items when the lights go out. Providing the tools to increase energy reliability in our homes will increase the wellbeing of all communities in Michigan.”  

The bills have been referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Environment.

Join Us For Convening On Solar Panel Recycling in East Lansing on March 26

Join the Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council for a public convening to discuss the recycling and reuse of solar panels in East Lansing on March 26Register for this free event here. This event will be held at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Michigan State University.

Millions of solar panels will be installed over the next two decades in Michigan in pursuit of the MI Healthy Climate Plan and public and private sector renewable energy commitments. This convening will introduce resources for recycling and reuse of solar components, discuss common materials and manufacturing processes, and highlight opportunities to proactively address the issue through sustainability practices, new investment, and public policy.

Another Breakout Panel Announced for 12th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Conference in East Lansing on April 24

Registration is open for Michigan EIBC’s most popular event of the year! Our 12th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Conference will be held April 24 at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing. Get your tickets now!

For information on sponsorship opportunities and benefits, please click here or contact Brianna Gerard at

We have announced several breakout panels for the conference:

We have also announced the keynote speaker:

Paula R. Glover is the President of the Alliance to Save Energy, a bipartisan, nonprofit coalition that promotes federal energy efficiency policy. Throughout her tenure, she has played a crucial role in advancing key policies such as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act while securing billions in federal funding for energy efficiency programs. Ms. Glover has also expanded the Alliance’s focus on energy justice and the development of next-generation technologies through the Active Efficiency Collaborative and the Energy 2040 Initiative. Before her tenure at the Alliance, Ms. Glover acted as President and CEO of the American Association of Blacks in Energy, advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion in energy policy discussions. Additionally, she serves on the boards of Talos Energy, the Keystone Policy Center, Clean Energy Works, and Resources for the Future, as well as holding a position on the National Petroleum Council since 2014 and acting as Trustee for Cardigan Mountain School. With 25 years of experience, Ms. Glover is passionate about realizing an energy-efficient future by leading the Alliance to Save Energy and its diverse political, corporate, and academic membership.

Thank you sponsors!









New Members

ElectricFish Energy
Founded in 2019, ElectricFish is an all-minority founded climatetech company that builds and deploys flexible, resilient charging infrastructure to accelerate EV adoption where grid constraints make it otherwise difficult, and prepare communities for outages caused by climate change.


Slipstream is a mission-driven nonprofit dedicated to accelerating climate solutions for everyone; we create, test, & deliver the next generation of energy efficiency programs that move us toward decarbonizing buildings & a clean energy economy. We partner with the DOE, National Labs, REEOs, utilities, local & state governments & regulatory agencies to inspire new solutions to energy challenges. Our more than 40 years of experience includes technology innovation in energy efficiency, implementation of energy efficiency and financing programs, education and training, and providing solutions to reduce energy burdens for many low-income, rural, and environmental justice communities.  

Michigan Energy News

  • Attorney General Dana Nessel says that her office’s work intervening in rate cases saved Michigan ratepayers nearly $3 billion in 2023.
  • Few local wind and solar ordinances across the state would comply with the new siting law, according to University of Michigan Graham Sustainability Institute’s Center for EmPowering Communities Director Sarah Mills, Bridge Michigan reports.
  • The Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen, a hydrogen hub partially supported by the state of Michigan, signs on to a letter to the U.S. Department of Treasury expressing concern about the “narrow guidance” for clean hydrogen tax credits.
  • A research team at Michigan State University announces a breakthrough related to redox flow batteries.

National Energy News

  • New research from Energy Innovation shows faster-than-expected cost declines for electric heavy-duty trucks mean they will be cheaper than diesel trucks decades earlier than previously projected.
  • Bills newly introduced to U.S. Congress would require FERC to create a shared savings incentive for grid-enhancing technologies, or GETs.
  • Sierra magazine publishes a deep investigation into the groups that sponsor anti-renewable energy misinformation.
  • North Carolina releases a climate action plan that looks to cut emissions by nearly two-thirds by 2030, with the building sector targeted as the biggest area for emissions reductions.

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.

5 Lakes Energy

Summer Intern. Location: Remote.

5 Lakes Energy is looking for flexible and self-motivated interns at the advanced undergraduate or graduate level interested in climate and energy policy. 5LE’s work is rooted in quantitative analysis, and applicants should expect that most projects will require some degree of technical analysis, with Excel as our primary analytical tool. 

This year, 5LE is offering 3 opportunities –

  • Building a Year-long Hourly Power Demand Forecast to Support Widespread Electrification of Michigan’s Manufacturers mentored by Elizabeth Boatman, Ph.D., Consultant 
  • Public Sector Clean Energy Research Assistant mentored by Rick Bunch, Senior Consultant
  • Developing a Python-based Integrated Resource Planning Model mentored by Eli Gold, Senior Consultant

To learn more about these opportunities and to apply, please review the information in this document.


Project Manager, Community Consulting (MI). Location: Michigan/Remote.

The Project Manager, Community Consulting supports municipalities and community-based organizations applying for federal funding; assisting with strategic planning, grant writing, fund development and community engagement planning.  The Project Manager maintains client relationships and assists with program development for initiatives related to sustainable communities with an emphasis on affordable housing and energy and water efficiency, renewable energy, decarbonization and community resilience. Projects focus on providing technical assistance to communities to help them achieve their sustainability goals by identifying funding opportunities, connecting them to technical resources, and providing expertise in policy and program design centered on equity, economic inclusion, and community and stakeholder engagement. This position requires experience with community engagement best practices and grant writing and/or grant management. The Project Manager, Community Consulting collaborates with others in the National Strategic Engagement team and with core service departments of Elevate, as well as our national partner organizations.
The Project Manager reports directly to the Senior Director, Community Consulting. The position is located in Michigan. This position is currently fully remote with travel as needed.


Michigan and National Energy Events

From March 20 to April 24, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) is hosting a number of virtual and in-person listening sessions regarding the U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Energy Rebate (HER) Program. Registration is requested for planning purposes. Visit the HER Program website for more information.

Join the Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and Michigan EIBC for a public convening on the Recycling and Reuse of Photovoltaic Solar Panels in Michigan on March 26 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Michigan State University in East Lansing.Register here.

Michigan EIBC’s 12th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Conference will be held April 24 at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing. Get your tickets now!



Michigan EIBC member Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Tech has 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. Learn more by visiting the program website, and completing this application form. Candidates are being evaluated in March, with selections
made on a rolling basis until all spots are filled. 

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (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.

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.

The MPSC has posted for public review all the applications it has received in response to a request for proposals for funding through a renewable energy and electrification infrastructure enhancement and development grant program. The final deadline for proposals is April 29.

Invest In Our Future is hiring for several positions, including a Program Manager with regional connections in the Midwest.

Climate Power is hiring a Michigan States Desk temporary position. This is a remote, temporary position to support work through the election cycle “to drive the narrative on how the Inflation Reduction Act and the clean energy boom are benefiting residents.” Find out more here.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office has announced a $38 million funding opportunity focused on cross-sector technologies for industrial decarbonization. Applications are due March 20Learn more here.

Michigan EGLE has several open grant applications related to energy efficiency for businesses, local governments, tribal governments and farmers, as well as support for public, private, or nonprofit entities for deploying publicly available fast-charging electric vehicle stations along the Lake Michigan Circuit. These applications have various deadlines from January to March of 2024. Find more information here.

On April 9, DTE is tentatively planning to issue an All Source Renewable Energy RFP. Email for more information.

The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a funding opportunity announcement for grants to “fund research, development, and prototype or pilot scale technology validation and demonstration activities that will accelerate the development and adoption of sustainable technologies that increase efficiency and eliminate industrial GHG emissions for the most energy- and emissions- intensive industrial subsectors.” The deadline is June 11Learn more here,