Newsletter: EIBC Applauds Utility Advanced Energy Commitments; Second Hearing on Energy Freedom Package

This newsletter was originally published on May 23, 2018. 

Michigan EIBC Applauds DTE and Consumers for New Advanced Energy Commitments

On Friday, May 18, Michigan’s two largest utilities – DTE Energy and Consumers Energy – announced new advanced energy commitments. The utilities will both commit to 25% renewable energy and 25% energy efficiency by 2030.

The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council applauds Consumers Energy and DTE Energy for their commitment. This is an important step forward towards Michigan’s advanced energy future, that will create jobs in Michigan’s growing advanced energy industry. As technology improves and prices continue to fall, more diverse advanced energy resources will be integrated into the grid, driving down energy costs for ratepayers and making the grid more resilient. Michigan EIBC stands ready to partner with utilities on energy solutions that provide ratepayers with a renewable, stable energy supply that costs less per kilowatt hour, and one that provides future generations with a more resilient and sophisticated grid.

As the utilities work towards realizing their commitments, Michigan EIBC will work to ensure that independent power producers, contractors, and our member companies have a role to play in providing the new advanced energy and energy efficiency technology.


House Energy Committee Holds Second Hearing on Energy Freedom Package

Yesterday, the House Energy Committee held a second hearing on the Energy Freedom bill package. The hearing featured testimony from Michigan EIBC board member Kevin O’Connell of Michigan CAT, in favor of the legislation. O’Connell discussed that Michigan CAT saw the entire package as beneficial. He said lifting the existing net metering cap (HB 5864) would pass cost savings on to customers and that allowing critical facilities to go into “island mode” during outages would improve grid resiliency (HB 5865).

Regarding HB 5861, a bill that would allow for community renewable energy gardens, O’Connell encouraged the committee to consider including other forms of advanced energy, such as microgrids, as technology options covered by the legislation. “Technology is changing rapidly,” O’Connell said, emphasizing that Michigan CAT wants customers to have options down the road. There would be another committee hearing on the bill package in two weeks.


New Members:

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Michigan Energy Stories

  • Michigan EIBC member company Hemlock Semiconductor, the only domestic polysilicon manufacturer would qualify for discounted “long-term industrial load rate” for its electricity to keep it on Consumers Energy’s grid, under legislation that passed the Michigan House of Representatives on Friday.
  • The Utility Union is calling on State Representative Gary Glenn, chair of the House Energy Committee, to resign after Rep. Glenn made comments in a committee hearing last week comparing Consumers Energy to “terrorists” he’d like to “shoot.”
  • On May 17, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) issued an Order in Case No. U-18441 regarding the recent capacity demonstration filings, directing MPSC Staff to convene a Capacity Demonstration Technical Conference this summer. For more information on the technical conference, contact Cathy Cole. The MPSC also opened Case No. U-20154 for the collection of the next capacity demonstration filings due by December of 2018 and February of 2019.
  • Cogeneration (CHP) advocates are calling for utility standby charges: “There’s a contagion happening in the Midwest territory” said Jamie Scripps, principal at Michigan EIBC member company 5 Lakes Energy. “States are looking at their neighboring states and seeing interesting conversations going on. And these standby rates in many states haven’t been dusted off in years.”
  • Apartment complex owners in Buchanan earned a check for over $240,000 from Indiana Michigan Power for energy upgrades on their property.
  • DTE Energy celebrated the one-year anniversary of its Lapeer solar park.
  • CMS Energy netted a record $241 million in the first quarter of 2018, in part due to the new tax law.
  • A southeastern Michigan nuclear plant is operating at reduced power due to unexpected “pump vibrations.”
  • The Michigan Agri-Business Association said that last year, energy efficiency saved agribusinesses more than $1.7 million.


National Energy Stories

  • The Trump administration’s tax laws have had little impact on clean energy investments.
  • President Trump signed an executive order rolling back an Obama-era guideline to reduce federal agencies’ energy usage by 2.5% annually.
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Kevin McIntyre says FERC will “reenergize” its review of PURPA, a law requiring utilities to buy advanced energy from independent power producers.
  • FERC has not made much progress in simplifying grid connections between regional operators.
  • Energy Secretary Rick Perry is calling for a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy to protect vulnerable power grids.
  • Ohio Advanced Energy Economy says state lawmakers should embrace advanced energy policies to decrease rates, improve grid reliability and drive investment.
  • Westar Energy is seeking permission from Kansas regulators to offer a demand fee for customers based on their highest average hourly demand between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Some suggest diversifying Puerto Rico’s electric system with more distributed, clean energy, but the top utility on the island has not been willing to consider renewables.
  • Bitcoin “mining” uses record amounts of electricity. By late next year, it is predicted that the energy used mining bitcoins could equal total global solar energy output.
  • A study finds that energy prices would drop up to 25% if wind and solar provided 40 to 50% of grid generation, but prices would likely fluctuate more.
  • According to the Edison Electric Institute, the advanced energy industry “contributes $880 billion to the US economy, or 5% to America’s total GDP, and supports 7 million+ American jobs.”
  • Bloomberg created America’s Clean Power Map, which shows were different clean energy technologies are the most common.
  • The solar industry employs more people than the coal, wind and nuclear industries combined.


Michigan Energy Events 

Michigan EIBC, Advancing Women in Energy (AWE), and The American Association of Blacks in Energy will cohost an advanced energy networking reception on June 11 from 5-7 pm at CLEAResult offices in Detroit. Register here. 

Michigan EIBC’s third EV Convening on DC fast charging and long-dwell charging is scheduled for June 14 at the Michigan Agency for Energy’s office in Lansing. The meeting will feature speakers including Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; Wayne Killen, Senior Director of Infrastructure Operations and Bustiness Development for Electrify America; and Robert Jackson, Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy. Register here.

On July 17-19, PlugVolt will be hosting its next Battery Seminar in Plymouth, Michigan (USA), featuring an entire day of in-depth training by EnerDelon Lithium Ion technology, alongside complementary industry updates by automotive and grid storage OEMs, global battery manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers. Attendees also get a tour of Intertek’s Battery Testing Center. Register here.

Michigan EIBC’s fourth EV Convening on fleets is scheduled for July 18 at the Michigan Agency for Energy’s office in Lansing. Watch your inboxes for registration details.

National Energy Events     

EUCI invites you to the Leadership Conference for Women in Energy 2018 on June 4-5 in St. Louis, Missouri. Register here.

Join ACI in San Francisco on June 6-7 for Grid-Scale Storage 2018 and learn through different panel discussions, site tours, workshops, and presentations on the significant market opportunities for energy storage. Register here.

EUCI invites you to the 2018 Western Transmission Summit: From Expansion to Modernization – Addressing the Changing Landscape of Transmission Planning and Investment. This event will be June 11-12 in Denver, Colorado. Register here.

EUCI invites you to the Electric Utilities 101 event on June 12-13, in St. Louis, Missouri. Register here.

EUCI invites you to a conference on the fundamentals of overhead distribution systems on June 14-15 in Baltimore, Maryland. Register here.

You’re invited to present, advertise, exhibit, or sponsor at The Energy Fair, June 15-17 in Custer, Wisconsin. Learn more and register here.
You’re invited to the EV Roadmap 11June 19-20 in Portland, Oregon. Register here.

EUCI invites you to the Renewable Energy Credit (REC) Market Dynamics & Trading conference, June 19-20, in Boston, Massachusetts. Register here.

You’re invited to the Grid Evolution Summit hosted by Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), in Washington, D.C., July 9-12Register here.

EUCI invites you to the Introduction to Cost of Service Concepts and Techniques conference, July 16-17, and the Introduction to Rate Design for Electric Utilities conference, July 18-19, both in Chicago, Illinois. Register for both here.

EUCI invites you to the Smart Cities 2018 Conference on August 13-14 in Columbus, Ohio. Register here.

EUCI invites you to the “Land Lease Agreements for Renewable Energy 101” conference on September 13-14, in Austin, Texas. Register here.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) invite you to Solar Power International, September 24-27, in Anaheim, California. Registration opens in spring of 2018 here.

EUCI invites you to a FERC Transmission Ratemaking conference, October 1-2 in Denver, Colorado. Register here.


Announcements and Opportunities

The Department of Energy has announced up to $68.5 million in funding for early-stage research of advanced vehicle technologies that will enable more affordable mobility, strengthen domestic energy security, and enhance U.S. economic growth. Projects should address advanced batteries and electrification, light-weight vehicle structures and advanced powertrains, technology integration and energy-efficient mobility systems, and engines and fuels. Concept papers are due May 29 and full applications will be due July 13. Learn more here.

The Michigan to Montana (I-94) Alternative Fuels Corridor project is currently seeking project partners. Organizations that are interested in being considered for receiving federal funds should prepare a short (i.e. approximately one to three page) project description that includes the project details, projected fuel use, projected project budget (including both requested federal funds and organization supplied matching funds), and estimated timeline for completing the project. Submit your project description to Ted Barnes. The deadline to submit a proposal is May 31, with partner selections starting in June 2018.

The Michigan Energy Office (MEO) today said communities have until May 31 to take the Michigan Green Communities (MGC) Challenge, a contest that measures communities’ progress toward meeting their current and future energy needs.

The EPA has announced the availability of $40 Million in Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) funds. The deadline to apply is June 12. You can apply here.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced $60 Million in Advanced Transportation Technologies grants, including Smart Mobility and Smart Cities technologies, and projects that bring data together from different systems, such as integrated corridor management and real-time traveler information. The deadline for applications is June 18. Learn about eligibility criteria here.