- Newsletter (377)
Federal Energy News Brief
This week, we want to provide you with a few key happenings at the federal level to keep an eye on:
Federal Fuel Economy Standards: The Trump administration is expected to rollback fuel economy standards put in place under the Obama administration. Draft plans of the move have been reported on widely and are causing significant concern for the advanced mobility and electric vehicle industry. Under the proposed changes, the existing fuel economy standards, which require auto manufacturers to develop fuel-efficient vehicles and help drive demand for electric vehicles, will be frozen at current levels. According a summary from Utility Dive, the fuel economy standards are expected to be frozen at 35 mpg, rather than climbing to 50 mpg by 2025 as had been finalized by the Obama administration.
Carbon Tax: In July, a Republican lawmaker unveiled a draft bill for a national carbon tax, a somewhat unexpected effort. The prospects of the legislation gaining traction are considered slim unless included as a part of a more comprehensive tax reform package.
FERC: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hosted a conference this week on grid reliability. The technical conference received more attention with the vocal and recent support of President Trump for coal as a power generation source and its implications for grid reliability. FERC is still reckoning with the departure of commissioner Robert Powelson (R), which will leave the commission evenly split along party lines until the position is filled. In addition, with reports of cyber attacks on utility infrastructure, FERC is having to consider cybersecurity more seriously, while the FCC may start paying more attention to energy security concerns.
Thanks & Farewell Kaitlyn!
Members: Send Your Stories!
Does your business have exciting news? Did you develop a new technology? Do you have any new projects? Share it with us, and we’ll try to help spread the word! If you have something you want us to share, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’re Invited! Upcoming Michigan EIBC Events
On August 15, Michigan EIBC will host the fifth EV Convening as a part of our current five-part series. The event will be hosted at the Michigan Public Service Commission and will focus on rate design and utility presentations. Speakers will include Chris Nelder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Michigan Energy Office Director Robert Jackson, and representatives from Consumers Energy and DTE Energy. Attendees will also help identify important next steps forward for vehicle electrification in Michigan and how Michigan EIBC and partners can continue helping Michigan lead in this space.
On September 17, join us for a networking reception in beautiful Traverse City at the offices of Keen Technical Solutions. It will be a relaxing evening to meet other people working in the industry in northern Michigan and across the state. Then, on September 21, members should join us for our first in-person Policy Committee meeting in Lansing.
In November, members are invited to join a Post-Election Recap at Varnum in Grand Rapids to get a breakdown of the state and federal elections and implications for the advanced energy industry. Later that month, Michigan EIBC will be hosting the Michigan Energy Innovators Gala in East Lansing on November 14. It’s an event you don’t want to miss!
Michigan Energy Stories
- Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing & Michigan EIBC member company Lean & Green Michigan are having a “game-changing” year.
- Michigan EIBC member company Invenergy moves forward with wind project in Wheatland Township
- In Isabella County, wind energy proponents oppose zoning changes and the associated negative impacts on communities.
- Ford plans to spend $4 billion on autonomous vehicles by 2023 through a new LLC.
- The Detroit Auto Show is officially moving to June and is expected to feature advanced mobility solutions more prominently.
- Consumers Energy files suit against a tugboat company following an April 1 incident that severed underwater transmission cables in the Straits of Mackinac.
- A study suggests closing the Line 5 pipeline would not significantly impact the cost or availability of propane in the Upper Peninsula.
- Michigan gubernatorial candidates state their plans for the Line 5 pipeline in a new documentary.
- Wolverine Power and other utilities are working together to strengthen the electric grid.
- DTE Energy and Consumers Energy announce second quarter earnings.
National Energy Stories
- The lack of disruption from a Montana coal plant’s month-long shutdown is more evidence that the plant isn’t needed, environmentalists say.
- An all-electric shuttle bus service in Chicago offers lessons as transit agencies and schools look to electrify their fleets.
- Texas regulators reject nation’s largest wind proposal stating that the project did not provide enough benefits to customers.
- A report from the Center for American Progress calls for more EV infrastructure investment, suggesting the use of VW funds.
- Electric vehicle charging developer Volta Charging raised $35 million in Series C funding led by Invenergy Future Fund and Activate Capital Partners.
- The Ohio EPA rules an offshore wind project in Lake Erie complies with the Clean Water Act and would not cause pollution.
- The reduced cost of solar is limiting the impact of the Trump administration’s tariffs on the solar industry, according to SunPower.
- A compromise struck around the benefits of a Massachusetts incentive program for solar should help open the market for storage.
- Major utilities are spending more than ever on their distribution systems, largely driven by capital expenditures to replace aging equipment, according to new analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
- Solar rebates have already run out under the Duke Energy program in North Carolina after the utility received hundreds of applications.
- U.S. fossil fuel production is subsidized to the tune of $20 billion a year — far more than renewables, writes David Roberts.
- A veteran coal miner in Alabama reopens his mining business because of President Trump’s promises to bring back the coal industry.
- Significant changes to net metering were among the country’s top solar policy developments in a new quarterly analysis from the NC Clean Energy Technology Center.
Michigan Energy Events
MSU IPU invites you to the 60th Annual Regulatory Studies Program’s Fundamentals Program. The event will provide essential education in the theory, principles, and practice of economic regulation organized by disciplinary perspectives, core functions, and utility sector applications. It will take place August 6-10 in East Lansing.
MSU IPU invites you to the 60th Annual Regulatory Studies Program’s Intermediate Program. The event will provide essential education in regulatory jurisdiction and governance, utility market structures, and current trends, drivers, and policy issues across the sectors. It will take place August 13-17 in East Lansing.
On August 15, Michigan EIBC will host its fifth EV Convening on rate design and future engagement at the Michigan Agency for Energy’s office in Lansing. Register here.
Hosted in Novi, Michigan September 11-13, The Battery Show North America will bring together more than 8,000 engineers and executives and more than 600 leading suppliers across the advanced battery supply chain. The conference will cover advanced battery technologies, electric and hybrid vehicle technology, and critical power technologies. Learn more and register here.
MSU IPU invites you to the 60th Annual Regulatory Studies Program’s 13th Advanced Regulatory Studies Program: Ratemaking, Accounting, Finance, and Evaluation. The event will provide intensive, interactive, and technical workshops for experienced professionals in the regulatory policy community. It will take place October 1-5 in East Lansing.
Michigan EIBC will host a members-only election recap on Friday, November 9. Watch your inboxes for registration details.
Save the Date: Michigan EIBC’s Annual Energy Innovator’s Gala is scheduled for Wednesday, November 14, in Lansing.
IEI will host a Corporate Purchasers Lunch & Learn at the House Office Building in Lansing on December 5. This event will be open to legislators and legislative staff, as well as Michigan EIBC members. Watch your inboxes for registration details.
National Energy Events
EUCI invites you to the Smart Cities 2018 Conference on August 13-14 in Columbus, Ohio. Register here.
The 2018 Veteran’s Energy Seminar Series is scheduled for San Diego (8/18), Chicago (8/30), and Boston (9/27). If you are interested in speaking or sponsoring an event, please visit www.vetsenergyseminar.
EUCI invites you to the Retooling PURPA conference on August 20-21 in Atlanta, Georgia. Register here.
EUCI invites you to Renewable Energy 101, September 10-11, in Chicago, Illinois. 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.
MSU IPU invites you to the 60th Annual Regulatory Studies Program’s 46th Eastern NARUC Utility Rate School. The event provides comprehensive hands-on training on the basics of the public utility ratemaking process and is sponsored by the NARUC Committee on Water and featuring group work on a mock water utility rate case. It will take place October 22-26 in Clearwater Beach, Florida.
Join 20,000 energy professionals at the Energy Storage North America Solar+Storage Summit November 6-8 in Pasadena, California. Register here.
Announcements and Opportunities
Know an emerging Midwest leader working to accelerate America’s transition to a clean energy economy? Nominate them for the 2018 Midwest Energy News ‘40 Under 40 awards program. Nominations close Friday, August 3
ARPA-E Announces Funding Opportunity to Support Upcoming Grid Optimization (GO) Competition. Full applications due Sept. 7 ow.ly/QtJ030l6W2T