- 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:
Mackinac Conference Includes Unveiling of ‘Make it in Michigan’ Strategy
At the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2023 Mackinac Policy Conference this week, Gov. Whitmer announced her “Make it in Michigan” economic development strategy, which would include a new fund to help Michigan compete for federal funds for clean energy projects.
Whitmer gave an address on Mackinac Island explaining the multi-pronged strategy, including plans for a Make it in Michigan Competitiveness Fund that would seek to bring federal funds from the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act to the state. The Inflation Reduction Act has some of the biggest opportunities for funding of clean and advanced energy ever, as Michigan EIBC and Advanced Energy United detailed in recently-released toolkit reports.
“Billions in federal resources are on the table,” Whitmer said in her address at the conference. “That includes semiconductors and clean energy, two sectors where we have a lot of natural strengths.”
Whitmer also used the conference to announce the signing of an executive order creating the Growing Michigan Together Council, which will advise the governor on policies to grow Michigan’s population, including the development of long-term, sustainable transportation and water infrastructure funding solutions.
Michigan EIBC held a legislative reception June 1 at the Seabiscuit Cafe on Mackinac Island. Thank you to all who attended and our generous sponsors, Hemlock Semiconductor, ITC Holdings, RWE, SEEL, Our Next Energy, Advanced Energy United, Apex Clean Energy and Martin Waymire.
Michigan EIBC Continues Work On Building Codes to Ensure Maximum Energy Efficiency Savings
When it comes to ensuring Michigan stays on the path to greater energy efficiency, one of Michigan EIBC’s biggest priorities has been related to the pending update of the state’s energy codes for residential and commercial buildings, a process that only comes once every few years. While earlier this year the process appeared to be coming to a close as final drafts for the updates were released by the Bureau of Construction Codes of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), recently, LARA pulled back the code to fix a drafting error. That change has provided Michigan EIBC with another opportunity to show how the code, which already would enhance energy efficiency above the existing code, can be made even better by increasing building readiness for EVs, solar, storage and building-grid integration technologies.
The draft of the residential and commercial energy codes incorporates provisions from the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which moves minimum standards for buildings toward greater efficiency compared to previous codes. For example, “the 2021 residential edition of the IECC represents approximately a 12% improvement in efficiency through more efficient thermal envelopes, improved mechanical system efficiency, improved lighting, and other cost-effective improvements compared to the 2015 model code, which is similar to Michigan’s current code,” Michigan EIBC said in comments submitted to LARA this week.
The decision to pull back the code to fix a drafting error allows LARA to address a problem where two sections from a previous code were not rescinded, creating an “unintended alternative performance pathway that would allow homes to be an estimated 15% less energy efficient when compared to the 2021 IECC,” our comments said.
Beyond fixing that error, the comments urged LARA “to push further to ensure that Michigan continues on a track toward futureproofing Michigan’s building stock.” Specifically, the codes should make sure that buildings are built with electrical conduits and other infrastructure to be ready for the installation of EV chargers, solar panels, battery storage systems and more so that expensive renovations do not have to be made later. Our comments include specific proposed code language that would make this readiness a reality in the final code.
New Semiconductor Industry Career Initiative Announced
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II recently announced the Semiconductor Talent Action Team (TAT), what MEDC is describing as the state’s “largest-ever campaign to promote careers, recruit talent and attract new businesses to fill jobs in Michigan’s thriving semiconductor industry.”
MEDC said the semiconductor consortium initiative will mirror the work of the state’s Michigander EV Scholars program, which has recruited more than 30 Michigan university students who are eligible for up to $10,000 in scholarships.
Specifically, TAT has launched an online application for education institutions to apply for up to $3 million grants for a Michigander Semiconductor Scholarship incentive program and develop semiconductor education curricula and career training models. In particular, TAT wants institutions to train Michigan’s future workforce for five roles in the semiconductor industry: computer engineers, electrical engineers, industrial/process engineers, semiconductor processing technicians and maintenance and repair workers.
MEDC’s statement mentioned Michigan EIBC member Hemlock Semiconductor as an example of the success of the semiconductor industry in the state. Hemlock recently announced plans to invest $375 million to expand its facilities in Saginaw County, creating 170 jobs.
“Michigan is going all in to make it clear that our talented people make our state the best place to start and grow business in the semiconductor industry,” Gilchrist II said in the statement. “Michigan is a global leader and hub for advanced manufacturing and innovation, and we have grown our semiconductor industry footprint aggressively,” he said. “Let’s keep working together to bring advanced manufacturing and critical supply chains home as we create economic opportunity in every region and build a brighter future for Michigan.”
Development Solutions Midwest LLC provides services which lead to reducing our clients energy costs. We help reduce energy use through; energy purchasing costs; energy audits; strategic energy plans; ISO 50001; utility incentives; and project management.
EDF Renewables Distribution-Scale Power team provides industry-leading, cost-effective development, engineering, construction, and operations of solar and storage projects. Solutions are customized for utilities, co-ops, landowners, communities, and institution. The team specializes in community solar and environmentally sensitive sites and has developed over 1400+ MW of solar and storage projects across the United States.
Michigan Energy News
- Crain’s Detroit Business publishes a forum on solutions to electric reliability in Michigan, with contributions from Citizens Utility Board of Michigan Executive Director Amy Bandyk, Consumers Energy and DTE.
- “These common sense bills will make it easier for businesses across Michigan to make cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades,” Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman is quoted as saying about the commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) legislation recently passed by the Michigan Senate.
- “Federal funding, alongside an ambitious, actionable climate and clean energy package—currently in the Michigan state legislature—could help correct decades of unreliable power in the state, all while boosting Michigan’s economy and clean energy goals,” according to Evergreen Action.
- Consumers Energy says it has begun operating the natural gas-fired Covert power plant in Van Buren County that it recently purchased.
- Most EV charging in Michigan occurs outside of peak demand times, Michigan Radio reports.
National Energy News
- Electrifying industrial processes “requires policymakers to create rules that ensure increased electricity demand is supplied with new least-cost clean generation in rural areas with high-quality renewable resources, to incentivize co-location of industrial production and new clean energy, and to encourage collaboration between utilities and independent power producers,” Energy Innovation’s Electricity Program Senior Fellow Eric Gimon writes in an opinion in Utility Dive.
- A controversial Texas bill that would incentivize “dispatchable” energy resources heads to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott, but with changes that allow energy storage to qualify for incentives.
- States partially or entirely within the territory of PJM, the Mid-Atlantic grid operator that is the largest regional transmission organization in the U.S., may not be able to achieve their renewable energy targets through 2027 because of long interconnection queues, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council.
- U.S. battery storage capacity increased 52% year-over-year by the end of the first quarter of 2023.
- There is increasing discussion over whether or not the U.S. should set national requirements on EV battery recycling.
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.
The Public Policy Intern is responsible for tracking legislation and other policies, as well as providing support to the team on ChargePoint’s legislative objectives throughout the Midwestern US. While this position is focused on ChargePoint’s policy engagement across the Midwest, the Policy Intern will also support the team with the development of policy briefing material to support policy engagement across the US on an as needed basis. Must be goal-motivated, adaptable in a fast-growing technology company environment, a strategic thinker, and detail-oriented. Successful candidates will have an educational background in public policy or prior work experience working with elected officials and state agencies. Knowledge of electric vehicle, energy or climate policy is preferred but not required.
Our Energy & Water Optimization Leaders interface with various facilities and sites and lead water, energy, and carbon reduction activities. They collaborate with external resources and provide leadership to – Energy Engineers, Energy & Water Optimization leaders, and Analysts, contractors, suppliers, utility companies, and others to enable energy and cost reduction.
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 U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship program is hosting two fellowships for recent graduates and energy professionals at the Michigan Public Service Commission. The projects these fellows will be working on are, respectively, “Incentivizing Resilience through Distributed Energy Resource Expansion” and “Resiliency Metrics, Valuation, and Application to Undergrounding Backlot Electrical Lines.” Innovator Fellow applications are now open and are due June 12 at 4 p.m. EST.
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.