Newsletter:Energy Conference Highlights Smart Solutions for the UP

This newsletter was originally published on July 18, 2016.

Energy Conference Highlights Smart Solutions for the UP

A conference held last week in Marquette highlighted a range of strategies to increase local generation and reduce energy costs in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Hosted by Central Upper Peninsula, Planning and Development Regional Commission (CUPPAD), Michigan Energy Options, the Superior Watershed Center, the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the conference brought together more than 100 stakeholders and other attendees for a day-long session on issues such as energy efficiency, natural gas, cogeneration, off-grid solutions, clean energy solutions, and other issues.

As part of the conference, Michigan EIBC president Liesl Eichler Clark hosted a panel discussion with Michigan EIBC member companies CLEAResult and Sustainable Partners, LLC focused on how energy efficiency and combined heat-and-power can help industrial customers reduce their energy costs and boost competitiveness.

In addition, the Institute for Energy Innovation and Advanced Energy Economy Institute hosted an “Industrial Energy Efficiency and Combined Heat and Power Roundtable” the following day. The discussion brought together industrial and commercial energy customers, economic development officials, advanced energy businesses, utilities, and others and focused on how industrial energy efficiency and combined heat & power can save industrial users money.

“The challenge of UP electricity needs creates opportunities for business and industry in the UP to cut electricity costs and meet their energy needs in a sustainable way using combined heat and power,” said Pam Landes of Sustainable Partners, LLC. “Efficiencies gained through CHP technology can save some businesses as much as 25% on electric and thermal energy. For companies generating organic waste allowing the CHP can be fueled by biogas created through anaerobic digestion, savings can be even greater.”

“The best way to reduce electricity costs is to reduce energy waste, and energy efficiency technologies can help UP businesses and ratepayers address their high electricity costs,” said Paul Brown of CLEAResult. “Communities and businesses across the UP can lower their electricity costs and reduce energy demand with energy efficiency.”


Michigan EIBC Gathering Information on 2016 Candidate Support for Advanced Energy

With the 2016 election coming into full swing, Michigan EIBC sent a questionnaire to engage candidates for state legislature on critical energy issues. All 110 seats in the State House are up for election, and there will be at least 39 new members due to term limits. There will also be a new state senator after Senator Virgil Smith’s (D-Detroit) resignation.

The questionnaire included questions involving the state’s renewable portfolio standard, 50-50 market split, energy optimization standard, greater voluntary access for advanced energy consumption, industrial energy efficiency, net metering, electric vehicles and research and development.

Michigan EIBC will share results of the questionnaire with our members. Want to know where candidates in your area stand on issues important to your company? Join Michigan EIBC today!


New and Renewing Michigan EIBC Members

Inovateus Solar
Inovateus Solar has become one of the leading solar development, design, engineering, procurement, construction and supply companies in the United States’ Midwest. Headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, the company has developed and built more than 250 megawatts of utility, rural electric cooperative, commercial, industrial, governmental, educational and microgrid solar power systems in the U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America. Inovateus’ customers range from Fortune 500 companies to utilities, municipalities, universities and governments.


Strawberry Solar

Strawberry Solar is a Michigan based solar design and installation company which has been in business since 2010. In 2015 we restructured, moved our headquarters to downtown Detroit and opened an office in Milford, CT.

Our mission is to team with our partners to bring renewable energy and other environmentally responsible energy planning to customers that desire clean affordable energy.  Strawberry has constructed large arrays for public and private entities. We have performed feasibility studies on multi- megawatt projects for MI utilities and commercial projects MI and CT. We have strong relationships in the financial community and with regulatory bodies in the markets which we operate. Strawberry looks forward to bringing solar resources to our utility, commercial and residential customers as investment in solar continues to grow.

The principals of Strawberry have constructed or financed over one thousand solar arrays. We have installed jobs ranging from five to five hundred kilowatts in seven states. We work in commercial and residential markets. We have completed projects in the public housing sector involving multiple partners and properties. We have successfully participated in PPA financed projects and have completed pre-construction tasks for commercial and utility owned solar arrays.

We plan on partnering with public entities to create skilled jobs for MI and CT citizens in solar design, installation and operations. Our senior management team averages 15 years in renewable project management, industrial design, public finance, asset-backed finance and project management experience.


Michigan Energy Clips

Carla Walker-Miller of Michigan EIBC’s Walker-Miller Energy Services spoke on a panel on economic opportunity and entrepreneurship & innovation at the White House United State of Women conference last June 14.

Brewery Vivant from Grand Rapids has installed a 52 kW solar system to offset 20 percent of their power, the rest coming from purchasing renewables through Consumers Energy, Mlive reports.

Phil and Jessica Rausch were able to go solar at a lower price thanks to Solarize Michigan, and were able to get the entire installation financed through Michigan Saves, the Midland Daily News reports.


National Energy News

Drones are now being used for thermal imagery capture and analytics to help with installation and inspection, GreenTech Media reports.

The Arizona Corporate Commission just approved the Arizona Public Service’s expansion of their energy efficiency and demand management program.

The Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority is looking for proposals to use the roughly $146 million of state loan program, Honolulu Star Adviser reports.

Residents in South Milwaukee are eligible for a bulk-purchasing solar program, similar to Solarize Michigan’s campaign in the Great Lakes Bay region. Milwaukee- Wisconsin Journal Sentinel has the story.

The Federal Trade Commission hosted a workshop on the future of rooftop solar, including discussions around net metering and consumer protections, Utility Dive reports.

There’s a new forecasting tool to make solar energy more predictable, reports.

Indianapolis Power and Light’s 20 MW power storage system is now online, the first battery storage project in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s (MISO) region, Utility Dive reports.

Michigan Energy Events
The 2016 Michigan Energy Providers Conference will take place on July 27-29 at Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa in Thompsonville. Michigan EIBC is a Gold sponsor for this event.
SAVE THE DATE: The 4th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala will be held Thursday, November 10 in East Lansing.

National Events
Solar Power International is scheduled for September 12-15 in Las Vegas.
The Battery Show, collocated with the Critical Power Expo and Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo, will be held in Novi from September 13-15.

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.