Newsletter: Governor, Legislature Look to Regroup on Energy Policy

This newsletter was originally published on January 17, 2016.

With Flint Dominating State News, Governor Mum on Energy in State of the State; Legislature Regroups

Governor Snyder delivered his annual State of the State address this week, and as expected, a good portion of the speech was dedicated to the Flint water crisis. As such, a number of other issues that had been included in previous State of the State speeches – including energy legislation – were absent from this year’s address.

At the same time, the Michigan Information and Research Service (subscription required) reported Senate Energy and Technology Committee Chair Mike Nofs as saying that the House “needed a little cooling-off period” and that he would again try to pass his controversial energy legislation through the Senate by the end of February. The Senate’s legislation – SB 437 and SB 438 – have received a number of hearings, but have not yet received a committee vote. The legislation would, among other things, repeal both the Energy Optimization and Renewable Energy Standards, institute a new Integrated Resource Planning process, dismantle the net energy metering program for distributed generation, and phase out the retail open access program.

Michigan EIBC remains opposed to these changes, and will continue to work with Senator Nofs and other legislators to advance the priorities of our member companies. Want to make sure your company has a seat at the table? Join Michigan EIBC today!

Join us in Detroit for MEC3: Corporate Pathways to Advanced Energy: Increasing Access to Next Generation Energy Solutions
With less than two weeks until the Corporate Pathways to Advanced Energy: Increasing Access to Next Generation Energy Solutions conference in Detroit, the list of leading global businesses confirmed as participants continues to grow! Don’t miss out – reserve your seat today. Seating in limited, and registration will close at the end of next week.

  • MEC3 – the 3rd Annual Michigan Energy Conference – is one of the first conferences of its kind to bring together high-profile corporate leaders in what has become an important international dialogue on accelerating opportunities to source, procure, and manage 21st Century energy resources. The conference will take place on February 2, 2016 at The Westin Book Cadillac hotel in Detroit. 
    Adam Kramer, Executive Vice VP of Strategy for Switch, will provide the industry keynote. Switch is in the process of developing a $5 billion data center in West Michigan. They are also an active corporate purchaser of renewable energy, and recently announced that as of January 1, 2016 all of their SUPERNAP data centers will bepowered by 100% renewable energy, making the company the world’s largest colocation data center environment to be fully run on renewable energy.
    Other confirmed speakers to date include:
    Myles Burnsed, Director of New Markets, groSolar
  • Tom Catania, Executive-in-Residence, Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan
  • Aakash Chandarana, Regional VP of Rates and Regulatory Affairs, Xcel Energy
  • Liesl Eichler Clark, President, Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council
  • Jay Dietrich, Program Manager: Climate Stewardship and Energy, IBM
  • Anne Kelly, Sr. Director of the Policy Program and Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) Coaliation, Ceres
  • Kevin Parzyck, Vice President – Development, Invenergy
  • Nancy Popa, Executive Director – Renewable Energy, Consumers Energy
  • Letha Tawney, Director of Utility Innovation and Polsky Chair for Renewable Energy, World Resources Institute
  • Rob Threlkeld, Global Manager – Renewable Energy, General Motors
  • Steve Vavrik, Chief Commercial Officer, Apex Clean Energy
  • Ron Voglewede, Global Sustainability Director, Whirlpool
  • Greg White, Executive Director, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC)
  • Rod Williamson, Global Energy Category Manager, Dow Corning 
  • Gabe Wing, Director of Safety and Sustainability, HermanMiller

The conference is organized by Michigan EIBC, together with Advanced Energy Economy, Ceres, the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, 5 Lakes Energy, and the World Resources Institute. You can learn more about the conference, including information on speakers and panel topics, at the conference website.

Attendee and sponsor space is limited, so reserve your spot today! Or contact Nicole Forward for more details.
We hope to see on February 2 in Detroit!


Michigan Energy Clips

WKAR has a piece on the Lansing Board of Water and Light starting its planning process for replacing their coal-fired plant.

WSJM reports that Rep. Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton) shares hopes that the Legislature will pass an energy bill sometime this year. He told Gongwer that his package was only going to receive clerical and technical changes as it heads to the floor.

Midwest Energy News ran a story about a Michigan Tech study that highlighted the possible liability a coal-fired power plant could have if a company was successfully sued on the basis of carbon emissions.

Crain’s has an article about the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory report on the effects of renewable portfolio standards

Rep. Lee Chatflied (R-Levering) had an opinion article in the Petoskey News about his concerns on HB 4297 and 4298.


National Energy Clips

Greentech Media has a piece on NRG CEO David Crane’s departure, telling his shareholders that ‘There Is No Growth in Our Sector Outside of Clean Energy.’

Utility Dive has a feature on ‘Bring Your Own Thermostat’ a potential $3 billion industry.

WIRED has a story on the new Chevy Bolt, the ‘first true mass-marketed electric car.’

The Nevada Consumer Protection Bureau has formally requested that the Public Utilities Commission revisit their December ruling to change the rooftop-solar rate structure.

MISO is considering a change in tariffs to incorporate energy storage, Utility Dive reports.

Utility Dive has a feature on the declining costs of solar, and what might be causing it.

Global renewable energy investment hit $328.9 billion in 2015, a new all-time high, even as the price of oil continues to plummet.

Michigan Energy Events
The Michigan Energy Forum will meet in Ann Arbor on Thursday, February 11 at Ann Arbor SPARK, 330 East Liberty, Lower Level. The theme for the meeting is the Clean Power Plan, and the meeting will also feature an update on state and federal energy policy, as well as opportunities for networking and business development. Confirmed speakers include Steve Kulesia of the Michigan Public Service Commission, Douglas Jester of 5 Lakes Energy, and Michael DiRamio of ICF International. Registration is available here

The annual IPU Michigan Forum on Economic Regulatory Policy will take place Friday, February 26 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing.

SAVE THE DATE: The 4th Annual Michigan EIBC Members Meeting will take place on Monday, April 25 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing. Additional information and registration will be available soon.

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.