- Newsletter (395)
Welcome to the weekly newsletter of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC), the business voice for advanced energy in Michigan. Here’s what’s new this week:
Sweeping Clean Energy Legislation Introduced to Michigan House
This week, members of the Michigan House of Representatives introduced legislation to decrease greenhouse gas emissions across the state’s economy and codify parts of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy’s (EGLE) MI Healthy Climate Plan.
The legislation is the House version of the Clean Energy Future Plan bill package introduced to the Michigan Senate in April.
The House package consists of three bills. First, House Bill 4759 would establish a renewable portfolio standard of 60% by 2030 with the ultimate goal of 100% carbon-free power by 2035. The bill would also ensure that distributed generation projects, like rooftop solar and community solar, especially in low-income communities, can help meet this renewable portfolio standard.
Next, House Bill 4761 would update and expand Michigan’s energy waste reduction standards for electric and natural gas utilities. “One of the ways we get to a carbon-neutral energy sector is we gotta make sure we are making energy efficiency improvements, and that means less consumption of fossil fuels,” Majority Floor Leader Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck), the primary bill sponsor of HB 4761, said, according to reports. “And that, over time, will help improve the health of communities like mine.”
Finally, House Bill 4760 would update the statute governing the authority of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to increase its ability to consider climate change, affordability, and equity in its decision making and in the requirements it imposes on utilities.
Source: Michigan House Democrats.
House Task Force Holds Public Listening Sessions Investigating Reliability and Resilience
A Michigan House task force convened to investigate electric reliability in the state in the wake of the power outages this February is holding a public listening tour throughout the summer, with the next session occurring tomorrow, Friday, June 16, in Detroit at Focus: Hope (1400 Oakman Blvd.) from 11 am to 1 pm.
The Energy Reliability, Resilience and Accountability Task Force, announced by Rep. Helena Scott (D-Detroit) in May, held its first public listening session last Friday in Lansing.
Members of the public can speak up to two minutes at the meetings, while members of government agencies, stakeholder groups or community groups can speak up to 15 minutes. All are welcome to attend the meeting and offer comments on your experiences or advanced energy expertise.
Here is the schedule for the rest of the task force’s listening sessions:
June 28, Flint @ 11 am
July 14, Marquette @ 11am
August 9, Grand Rapids @ 11am
August 23, Benton Harbor @ 11am
August 30, Ferndale @ 11am
Michigan House Committee Holds Hearing On C-PACE Legislation
On June 14 the Michigan House Energy, Communications and Technology Committee heard from supporters of the legislation to expand the statute for commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing so it can be used to make more renewable energy and energy efficiency projects off the ground.
The Michigan Senate recently passed SB 302 and SB 303, which expand the types of projects that are eligible for C-PACE financing and ease the energy savings requirements in the C-PACE statute so that more projects that produce incremental energy savings can qualify. The bills are now up for consideration in the House.
“The C-PACE program has been really successfully operating in Michigan for over a decade to help businesses make valuable energy saving investments, often beyond what is considered code around energy efficiency,” Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City), who sponsored SB 303, said in testimony before the committee. “This is a unique program that I was very interested in sponsoring the expansion of because it is a pro-business economic development tool that uses 100% private capital and creates zero liability for state or local governments.”
Todd Williams, president of Michigan EIBC member Lean & Green Michigan, also testified in support of bills. He talked about how C-PACE has enabled 70 projects across the state. That success has come in spite of the fact that “the current Michigan statute is one of the most restrictive in the nation,” Williams said. “The amendments to the statute before you offer commonsense updates to the statute.”
Also testifying in support of the bills were Michigan EIBC Director of Policy Justin Carpenter, Michigan EIBC member PACE Loan Group Chief Operating Officer Bali Kumar, Michigan EIBC member C-PACE Alliance Deputy Director Nicholas Zuba and Michigan Conservative Energy Forum Executive Director Ed Rivet.
I&M To File New Distributed Generation Tariff
Indiana Michigan Power (I&M), the primary power provider in southwestern Michigan, must file a new tariff for distributed generation customers that makes clear for potential rooftop solar customers the credit they will receive for excess generation to the grid, the MPSC recently ordered.
In May, I&M announced that it had hit its cap on the amount of Level 1 distributed generation installations (the smallest category of installations, less than 20 kW) it must connect to the grid and that it would no longer accept new customers as of May 15.
In its order, the MPSC noted that other utilities that have hit their cap “have either continued to interconnect customers under the DG program tariff provisions in excess of the cap or have voluntarily agreed to an increased customer participation cap.” The order asked I&M to indicate whether or not it will take either of those actions.
I&M’s new tariff must be filed on June 30.
Michigan EIBC strongly supports legislation, recently introduced to the Michigan Senate, that would eliminate the distributed generation cap.
Savion, a Shell Group portfolio company operating on a stand-alone basis, is one of the largest, most technologically advanced utility-scale solar and energy storage project development companies in the United States. With a growing portfolio of more than 36.5 GW, Savion’s diverse team provides comprehensive services at each phase of renewable energy project development, from conception through construction. As part of this full-service model, Savion manages all aspects of development for customers, partners, and project host communities.
Michigan Energy News
- Crain’s Detroit Business and CBS News and are some of the media sources reporting on the new Michigan House clean energy bill package.
- The MPSC approves $50 million in state funds for low-carbon energy infrastructure enhancement and development projects, the largest of which is the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s grid-scale battery energy storage system and ground-mounted solar system project
- Jackson County is using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act and the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce the county’s carbon footprint through various energy efficiency measures across buildings and installing a geothermal HVAC system, solar arrays and EV charging infrastructure at the courthouse, among other measures.
- A federal review finds that Chinese battery maker Gotion Inc.’s plans to build a $2.4 billion EV battery parts plant near Big Rapids does not raise concerns under the Defense Production Act of 1950.
- Plainfield Township, north of Grand Rapids, partners with White Pine Renewables on a project to build a floating solar array on a pond to power a water treatment plant.
- Consumers Energy announces the closure of the Karn coal-fired power plants.
National Energy News
- The U.S. Department of Energy announces $192 million to expand battery recycling research and development.
- Preliminary research from the California Public Utilities Commission’s Public Advocates Office finds that the cost of upgrading the distribution grid across the territories of the state’s three investor-owned utilities to prepare for electrification could be about $15 billion to $20 billion by 2035, significantly lower than the $50 billion price tag identified by a previous study.
- Net-zero pledges from fossil-fuel companies are “largely meaningless,” according to a new report from NetZero Tracker.
- Idaho-based Kore Power wins a conditional commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office for $850 million to build a battery manufacturing facility in Arizona.
- A proposed utility debt restructuring plan for Puerto Rico would impose unaffordable electricity rates on the island for decades, dozens of community advocates, economists, conservationists and energy experts argue.
Attention Michigan EIBC members: if you have a job announcement you would like in the newsletter, please send a paragraph describing the position and a link to apply to Matt Bandyk at email@example.com. Please include in the email a specific end date for the job posting.
The Stakeholder Relations Intern will work within AES Clean Energy’s Stakeholder Relations team in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, and many other MISO & ERCOT territory states. This is an exciting opportunity to learn and apply industry-leading engagement strategies to empower communities and advance a carbon-free future. This role will support AES’ strategic renewable energy related stakeholder engagement from drafting communications and collateral materials to strategic planning, social impact development, and local community engagement. This role will report to the Manager of Stakeholder Relations MISO & ERCOT and is an excellent opportunity for someone who is planning a career in the renewable energy industry.
Highland Electric Fleets
Highland is looking for a Proposal Writer who combines strong project management skills, exceptional writing ability, and demonstrated grant/RFP success.
The Proposal Writer will be responsible for: tracking electrification-related RFPs across Highland’s target geographies, as well as electrification-related grants at the local, state, and federal levels; project managing the grant and RFP process from start to finish; compiling relevant information from various departments; coordinating with external partners on applications; and drafting and submitting the applications and proposals.
Michigan and National Energy Events
On July 18-20, PlugVolt will be hosting Battery Seminar 2023 in Plymouth, Mich., featuring an entire day of in-depth technical tutorials on cutting-edge battery research presented by industry subject matter experts and world renowned professors from Top 50 U.S. Universities. The next two days will include complementary industry updates provided by speakers from Automotive and Grid Storage OEMs, major battery manufacturers and global Tier 1 system developers and suppliers. Attendees will also get an exclusive opportunity to tour INTERTEK Battery Testing Center of Excellence in Plymouth, MI (USA) firsthand, ask questions to resident experts, and enjoy some light appetizers and beverages while networking with industry peers. Register here.
Save the dates Aug. 6-9 for the Mid-America Regulatory Conference (MARC) Annual Meeting at the JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids.
Organizations currently have the opportunity to work with a grad student from the University of Michigan School for Environment & Sustainability (SEAS) for their Master’s Projects. In these projects, “students work on research teams with client organizations and faculty advisors to address complex environmental issues and design innovative, impactful products,” according to SEAS. Learn more here. Proposals for projects are due by September.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to expand the weatherization assistance program utilizing bipartisan infrastructure law funding for multi-family dwellings. The five-month award begins on May 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2023, with the total available amount being $1 million dollars. Successful applicants may be awarded funding annually through at least Sept. 30, 2028, based upon funding availability and acceptable performance. For more information or to apply, visit the EGrAMS website.
Consumers Energy Company has announced it will seek competitive bids in response to a RFP from participants in the MISO Energy Market in accordance with the Company’s expansion of the Voluntary Green Pricing (“VGP”) Program. With this RFP, Consumers Energy will solicit proposals for solar and wind generation projects, separate and distinct from the ongoing Consumers Energy 2022 IRP RFP for solar generation projects. RFP documents are available here and applications are due June 30.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Buildings Upgrade Prize (Buildings UP) is offering more than $22 million in cash prizes and technical assistance to teams across America with winning ideas to accelerate widespread, equitable energy efficiency and building electrification upgrades. Follow Buildings UP on HeroX.com for all prize-related updates. Phase 1 submissions are due by July 18.