Newsletter: Governor Snyder Appoints Rachael Eubanks to the Michigan Public Service Commission

This newsletter was originally published on July 11, 2016.

Governor Snyder Appoints Rachael Eubanks to the Michigan Public Service Commission

Governor Rick Snyder last week appointed Rachael Eubanks to fill a partial term on the Michigan Public Service Commission. Commissioner Eubanks most recently was director of public finance in the Lansing office of R.W. Baird & Co., Inc. She fills the vacancy of former Commissioner John Quackenbush, and will serve a term that expires in July 2017.


Federal Energy Legislation Moves to Conference Committee

Seven Senators and 24 Members of Congress have been named to a conference committee to negotiate a final version of federal energy reform legislation. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will chair the conference committee, and Congressman Fred Upton (R-Michigan), Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, will also serve on the conference committee.

If enacted, the legislation would be the most significant energy legislation since 2007. A number of details need to be addressed, including several provisions added by the House that attracted the threat of a veto by President Obama. As part of the agreement to send the legislation to conference committee, there was agreement to develop a final bill that would be signed into law by removing some of the elements that had been included as amendments in the House.

Among the most significant elements of the energy legislation are provisions that would streamline the approval process for the export of liquefied natural gas, an enhanced energy efficiency title, support for the development of hydroelectric and geothermal generation, and efforts to modernize the nation’s grid, including upgrades in grid security.

Michigan EIBC recently sent a letter to members of the Michigan Congressional delegation expressing our support for strong and comprehensive energy legislation. We will continue to advocate on our members’ behalf as this process moves forward.


New/Renewing Members

The Green Panel

The Green Panel designs and installs solar solutions for commercial, governmental, educational and residential customers in Michigan and the Midwest. On grid and off grid systems, architectural solutions and systems with integrated car charging stations.


Mackinaw Power

Mackinaw Power is developing new renewable energy projects to provide power for the Great Lakes at competitive prices. Mackinaw Power also uses its experience within the wind industry to work with a variety of companies in Michigan to increase the supply chain for renewable energy technologies in the Midwest.

In 2003, Mackinaw Power acquired the assets of Bay Windpower, which developed the Great Lakes’ first privately developed wind power project. Mackinaw Power plans to be a catalyst for sustainable economic growth, environmental stewardship, and energy security. We are working to build sustainable communities to provide clean, affordable wind power by harvesting the area’s wind resources.

Mackinaw Power is investing in Michigan’s future generations. We look forward to working with you to create renewable power that protects our Great Lakes, public health, and farm land.


Michigan Energy Clips

The state Court of Appeals upheld a 2013 Michigan Public Service Commission decision to let Consumers Energy utilize smart meters.

Grand Rapids-based Sustainable Partners (SPART) has contracted with Veolia Energy to improve the performance and boost the power output of the Lowell Energy Anaerobic Digester.

Heller Machine Tools recently announced it was moving forward on a $978,607 energy upgrade at its Troy manufacturing facility – the largest Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financed project in Michigan. Heller is working with Michigan EIBC member Lean & Green Michigan and others on lighting replacement, HVAC improvements, and networked building controls, among other upgrades.

The Michigan Public Service Commission is beginning to consider revisions to how they implement assessments laid on regulated utilities.

Maysville Public Schools received a $2 million low-interest loan from the Michigan Agency for Energy in coordination with the Michigan Department of Treasury, one of five public agencies in the state to win a Qualified Energy Conservation Bond allocation, The Times Herald reports.

Midland County became the newest municipality to create a PACE financing district, Midland Daily News reports.

Michigan EIBC president Liesl Eichler Clark was quoted in a Midwest Energy News article on the tax disadvantages faced by solar and wind power in Michigan.


National Energy News

A new ruling from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will likely spur new renewable generation from small utilities and rural electric co-ops, Midwest Energy News reports.

Data company Switch is suing the Nevada Public Utilities Commission and NV Energy over the PUC’s decision to prohibit Switch from leaving NV Energy as part of its efforts to procure renewable energy.

A UK tidal energy project is underway in Scotland. The project will power 175 thousand homes, and is seen as an innovation in the field, Breaking Energy reports.

The Obama Administration is preparing to issue new efficiency standards for ceiling fans, expecting to save consumers $2.7 billion in energy bills, The Hill reports.

The New York Green Bank wants to increase its portfolio by two-thirds this year, mostly by investing in large advanced energy projects, Utility Dive reports.

Utilities are uneasy about a California Public Utility Commission proposal to remake their business model to be more compatible with distribute energy resources, 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.