Newsletter: Energy Vote Looms as State House Reconvenes

This newsletter was originally published on November 28, 2016.

Energy Vote Looms as State House Reconvenes

The Michigan House of Representatives returns to Lansing this week to begin the lame-duck session. There is a strong possibility the House will take up SB 437 and 438, a legislative package that rewrites Michigan’s energy laws. The Senate passed this legislation earlier this month with bipartisan vote. Speaker-elect Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) has stated he hopes the energy debate will be taken up during the lame-duck session and not put off for next term. Additionally, the new Speaker’s ties to retail open access supporters and a strong possibility that Rep. Gary Glenn (R-Midland) will serve as next term’s House Energy Committee Chair has led proponents of the bills to believe their best chance to pass the package is this term. Finally, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce announced their support for a modified version of the package last month.

Since introduced, the bills have changed significantly, making significant progress from their original form. The package as introduced last year repealed the state’s renewable portfolio standard and energy optimization standard for electric utilities. Now, it keeps the EO standard, adding new incentives for energy efficiency, and grows the RPS to 12.5 percent by 2021 and 15 percent by 2022, with a local capacity requirement.
Unfortunately, the 50-50 market split in the existing RPS is not in the legislation, meaning there is no guarantee that independent developers will be able to build in Michigan – or that ratepayers will see the benefits of non-utility built projects. Furthermore, there are still concerns with the changes to net metering. The legislation calls for the Michigan Public Service Commission to develop a new grid usage charge by December 1 of 2017, considering both costs and benefits of distributed energy installations.

If you are an advanced energy business in Michigan, we need you to stand up for the industry. Please sign onto either or both of these letters that will be sent to the legislature:

Want to be included on Michigan EIBC’s monthly policy committee call to get in-depth analysis on the legislative landscape? Join Michigan EIBC for an introductory rate of $350!


New/Renewing Members


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TOGGLED is a featured supplier of linear lighting products to The Home Depot, with a national rollout underway.


Michigan Energy News

Mary Brady-Enerson, co-chair of the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s IRP Citizen’s Advisory Council, penned an opinion article in the Lansing State Journal highlighting the price volatility of natural gas and the need to switch more to advanced energy to keep rates lower.

Charlie Kolean, chair of the Michigan College Republicans and Chris Arndt, chair of the Michigan Young Republicans, penned a joint opinion article in the Lansing State Journal about the need to aggressively adopt advanced energy, highlighting the growing bipartisan consensus around its economic value.

The Shiawassee County Commission is considering a moratorium on large-scale wind turbines, AP reports.

The Lowell Energy AD bio digester has been fined five times since November 1 for odor citations, Mlive reports.

Michigan and Minnesota are two Midwestern states with strong success stories in the advanced energy space, highlighting emphases on energy efficiency, strong policy framework and bipartisan consensus, Midwest Energy News reports.

Almer and Ellington Township will hold special meetings for the proposed wind farm from NextEra Energy Resources, Huron Daily Tribune reports.

With the next administration likely putting an end to the Clean Power Plan, many are asking if Midwest states like Michigan are going to keep coal plants that were previously scheduled to retire. E&E News writes how that may not be the case.


National Energy News

EPA Administrator believes the advanced energy train ‘has already left the station,” The Hill reports.

A British tech start-up set up a small strip of pavement that powers LED streetlamps on an intersection in Washington, DC, Forbes reports.

Amazon is adding 180 MW of solar to their portfolio in 5 new installations, Fortune reports.

President-elect Trump’s energy transition leader, Michael McKenna, has left the team reluctantly, citing his desire to remain a registered DC lobbyist, the Hill reports.

The electoral upset may lead to a more aggressive energy agenda during the lame-duck session, Utility Dive reports.

Electric vehicles can become a valuable tool for grid security, GreenTech Media reports.


Michigan Energy Events
Join Michigan EIBC, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), and Wind on the Wires on Wednesday, November 30 for a Lansing Lobby Day.
Members of Michigan EIBC, AEE, and Wind on the Wires are invited to participate. We will start the day with coffee and pastries at Dykema for a briefing meeting before meeting with legislators.

Petros PACE Finance, Lean and Green Michigan, and the Groundwork Center are hosting a happy hour in Traverse City around advanced energy financing on Thursday, December 8, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Register here.
Michigan EIBC is hosting a Michigan Energy Forum networking event on Friday, December 9 from 9:00 to 11:00 am in Lansing. The Forum includes networking and a tour of Michigan CAT Lansing manufacturing facility. Michigan Energy Forum events are free for Michigan EIBC members, and $25 for non-members. Register here.

National Energy Events
ACEEE’s 2016 Intelligent Efficiency Conference will take place December 4-6 in Austin.  This annual event brings together leaders from the IT, telecom, energy efficiency, utility, solution provider, and policy sectors to share and learn how information and communications technology (ICT) can improve the use of energy.

Advanced Energy Economy is holding a webinar, “Advanced Energy Year in Review: What happened in 2016 – and what to expect in 2017,” on December 15, at 1pm EST. Register here.

The International District Energy Association (IDEA), Microgrid Resources Coalition (MRC), and Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a joint briefing on “District Energy, CHP, Microgrids: Resilient, Efficient Energy Infrastructure” on December 6 in Washington D.C. A livestream of the briefing will be available starting at 9:30 Eastern at
Greentech Media is hosting the 2016 U.S. Energy Storage Summit on December 7-8 in San Francisco.  The Summit brings together utilities, financier, regulators, technology innovators, and storage practitioners for presentations, industry panels, and high-level networking opportunities.
The 15th annual Cleantech Forum will take place January 23-25 in San Francisco. This annual gathering brings together the global cleanteach innovation community for three days to network, chart the future, and get deals done.  

Additional Resources
MI Agency for Energy Issuing RFP for Industrial Energy Efficiency
The Michigan Agency for Energy’s Energy Office has issued a Request-for-Proposals (RFP) for small business manufacturers interested in investing in retooling projects that result in energy waste reduction in manufacturing processes and/or the manufacturing of clean energy technologies. Proposals are due by Dec. 12.
The RFP is open to small manufacturers with 500 or fewer employees located in Michigan. Eligible projects are those that decrease energy waste in manufacturing processes (e.g. combined heat and power) or increase manufacturing of energy efficient technologies.
A total of $100,000 in funding is available.  Grant awards will range from $25,000 to $50,000 for equipment purchases only, with a 4-to-1 match requirement of cash or in-kind services. Funds for the Retooling and Manufacturing grant program come from the U.S. Department of Energy through MAE’s Energy Office.
The RFP is located here.

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant cycle is now open, awarding grants for renewable energy projects in rural communities and agricultural areas. REAP is open to Agricultural Producers and Rural Small Businesses. Grants can be used for the purchase, installation, and construction of a Renewable Energy System or Energy Efficiency Improvement. Rural Small Business Projects must be located in a rural area with populations of 50,000 or less. The Agricultural Producer Projects can be located in rural or non-rural areas. REAP Grants provide a 25% cash reimbursement of the total system costs, with a maximum grant of $500,000 for Renewable Energy Systems and $250,000 for Energy Efficiency Improvements.
Applications for projects with Total Project Costs of $80,000 or less are accepted through Monday, October 31, 2016. Applications for projects with Total Project Costs greater than $80,000 are accepted through Monday, May 1, 2017.
The Application Templates and Forms are available at USDA Rural Development Offices or the National Website at: under Forms and 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 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.