Newsletter: Governor Announces Michigan Will Comply with Clean Power Plan While Michigan Senate Continues Work to Repeal Renewable and Efficiency Standards

This newsletter was originally published on September 3, 2015.

Governor Announces Michigan Will Comply with Clean Power Plan

Governor Snyder’s administration announced Tuesday that the Michigan Agency for Energy and Department of Environmental Quality will create a state implementation plan (SIP) to comply with the EPA Clean Power Plan. Earlier this month, the EPA finalized a new rule calling for a 32 percent reduction in carbon emissions from power plants by 2030. State’s have until 2018 to finalize their own plan of compliance, or risk allowing the federal government to create a plan for them.

Michigan EIBC commended these actions as “proactive,” and stated that they hope than any SIP will incorporate the lowest cost strategies to comply, like increased energy waste reduction and the construction of more renewables.

The Institute for Energy Innovation – a Michigan non-profit organization – recently released a whitepaper outlining the lowest cost options for Michigan to comply with the EPA rule, including energy waste reduction, new wind and solar generation, and the use of natural gas in cogeneration, where both heat and electricity are generated. The report noted that accounting for future natural gas price projections and the uncertainty around those prices should counsel against simply switching from coal to gas as not in the best interests of Michigan ratepayers.


Michigan Senate Holds Last Week of Testimony on SB 438

While the governor has decided to comply with the Clean Power Plan, and IEI findings suggest we need increased reductions in energy waste and deployment of renewables, the Michigan Senate Energy and Technology Committee is considering legislation to repeal both the renewable portfolio standard and energy optimization standard for electric providers. Michigan is already well on its way towards complying with the Clean Power Plan because of these standards.

The Michigan Senate Energy and Technology Committee took one last week of testimony on Senate Bill 438, though the bill was not voted out. Testifying on Wednesday in support of the legislation were the Michigan Electric and Gas Association (MEGA), the Michigan Municipal Electric Association (MMEA), and the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (MECA). MEGA’s testimony focused mostly on net metering, while the municipal utilities believed repealing the standards will give more local control and flexibility, and the cooperatives spoke about the benefits of geothermal heating and cooling as a method for energy reduction.

Michigan EIBC testified against 438 last week with Scott Viciana from Ventower Indsutries, Brian Pageau from Midwest Energy Group and Prassad Gullapalli from Srinergy. Mike Linsea of Solar Winds Power Systems, LLC, came out to testify on his own this week. He spoke about the potential for net metering and the need to not replace it with the wholesale-retail model.

The committee’s work will now focus on Senate Bill 437, a bill that will place new requirements on energy suppliers within the choice market, and create a new integrated resource planning process for future energy policy decisions. 

The committee may no longer be taking testimony, but you can still have your voice heard. Send your Senators a letter sharing your views on the proposed legislation. They need to hear from you! You can find your Senator here (and make sure to contact the Senator who represents both your home and your business!).


Bipartisan “Energy Freedom Package” Introduced in the Michigan House

A group of two democrats, two republicans from both peninsulas announced their introduction of the “Energy Freedom Package,” four bills that will remove certain legal barriers so consumers of energy can more easily generate and supplement their own energy needs through advanced energy.

The package will be introduced next week by Representatives Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor), Gary Glenn (R-Midland), Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) and Scott Dianda (D-Calumet). The package has four bills. They are as follows:

  1. A bill from to remove caps on net metering (McBroom)
  2. A bill to allow community energy gardens across Michigan (Glenn)
  3. A bill to create a mechanism for fair value pricing for systems up to 500KW. This pricing methodology accounts for the value of the renewable energy, its delivery, generation capacity, transmission capacity, transmission and distribution line losses, environmental value, and other values not always considered in current energy prices. (Irwin)
  4. A bill to create mechanism for fair value pricing for systems over 500KW with options for combined heat and power. The pricing methodology for this bill does not include transmission. Utilities would also have the option to decline net metering if the generating system is over 500KW and there is a fair value price or standard offer contract available.

We will keep you posted on this legislation as it is introduced.


SAVE THE DATE: Michigan Energy Innovators Gala Set for November 10, 2015
Michigan EIBC is pleased to announce that the third annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala will take place on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing. This event is the opportunity for Michigan’s advanced energy industry to pay tribute to and recognize those businesses, policymakers, and others who are doing the most to build the industry in Michigan.
Tickets for the Gala are now available, and the keynote speaker and other details will be announced soon.
There are also sponsorship opportunities available. Contact Nicole Forward for more information.

 New/Renewing Members

Varnum LLP

Varnum is a leading Michigan law firm with a long-standing energy practice which encompasses significant experience in conventional, alternative and renewable energy sources. From finance and siting issues to regulation and tax incentives, energy law is a diverse and thriving practice at Varnum. Our client-focused, service team approach has made us a beacon in the profession.


Michigan CAT

Michigan CAT Power Systems is Michigan’s premier provider of turnkey Combined Heat & Power (CHP or Cogen) systems. We have the expertise to optimize a CHP system for your facility and the boots on the ground to make sure you get the most out of your investment. Plus, as your Caterpillar dealer, only we can offer best in class CAT power generation equipment that is built in the USA.

Michigan CAT is also recognized as a leader in providing landfill solutions. Decades of leadership in converting landfill gas to viable energy means millions of “green” kilowatts provided.

Our CHP & Landfill customers include operations across the nation-with hundreds of generators operating in diverse applications.


Michigan Energy News

Bridge Magazine published a piece from Marty Kushler and John Sarver about the importance of keeping the 2008 energy laws

Mlive has a piece on how utilities support curbing their own carbon emissions to comply with the Clean Power Plan

Mlive also has a piece about how Attorney General Bill Schuette and Governor Rick Snyder are divided on the Clean Power Plan, though the state will not directly get involved in any legal suit against the EPA.


National Energy News

American Electric Power Company plans to invest $5 million in the energy storage firm, Greensmith Energy Management Systems LLC

The IRS has ruled that a Vermont man how invested in solar garden can credit 30% of the investment on his taxes.

Utility Dive has a piece on how the newly formed Corporate Renewables Partnership is shaping up the new energy market.

Morning Consult has a piece on how the busy Senate floor may stall out the major, bipartisan energy package that passed committee earlier this summer.

The Washington Post has an article about the White House’s $4 million initiative to deploy renewables in rural Alaska.


Upcoming Michigan Energy Events
Learn about Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing at a free panel discussion, “Keeping PACE with Energy Efficiency in Michigan,” on Wednesday, September 9 from 3:30-5 p.m. at the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, Grand Rapids Community College, 143 Bostwick Ave NE, Grand Rapids.
The September Michigan Energy Forum meeting will be held Thursday, September 10from 5-7pm at Ann Arbor SPARK. The theme for the September meeting is “Michigan Solar Industry Update – Policy and Market Trends.” Michigan EIBC Vice President for Policy and Business Engagement Liesl Eichler Clark is organizing the event. The event is free to attend; registration deadline is Friday, September 4.
The Battery Show Exhibition and Conference will be held September 15-17 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. The event is also home to the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo.
The Upper Peninsula Economic Development Alliance is hosting a seminar, “Keeping U.P. on Energy,” on Wednesday, September 16, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. Register here.
The Annual UP Energy Summit will take place Wednesday, September 30 in Marquette. Michigan EIBC is hosting a pre-Summit UP Networking Reception on Tuesday,September 29 from 4:00-6:00 at the Landmark Inn in Marquette. The reception, which will feature a policy update and a look at innovation and clean tech in the UP, is free for Michigan EIBC members and $25 for non-members.
The October Michigan Energy Forum meeting will take place Thursday, October 1 at Ann Arbor SPARK. The theme for the October meeting is Waste-to-Energy.

Michigan EIBC will be hosting their next Detroit Area Advanced Energy Business Networking Event, October 9 at NextEnergy. The theme will be the future of the grid.
Michigan EIBC will be hosting their next West Michigan Advanced Energy Business Networking Event on Thursday, October 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Register here.

The 2015 Michigan Advanced Lighting Conference, featuring the Michigan Solid State Lighting Association Annual Symposium, will take place Wednesday, October 29 in Lansing.
SAVE THE DATE: The 3rd Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala will be held Tuesday,November 10 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. Individual tickets can be purchased here. Contact Nicole Forward for more information on table purchases and other sponsorship opportunities.

Upcoming National Energy Events
Solar Power International will be held this year from September 14-17 in Anaheim, California.
The ACEEE National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource will take placeSeptember 20-22 in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Fortune’s ’Brainstorm E: Where Energy, Technology, and Sustainability Meet’ will take place September 28-29 in Austin. 

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.