Newsletter: Meijer Looking to Tesla eSemis, Fremont Digester Operational

This newsletter was originally published on November 17, 2017.

Meijer Looking to Tesla eSemis

As Michigan works to be at the forefront of advanced mobility, corporate players are taking steps to show their commitment to future modes of transportation. The most recent announcement is Meijer’s reservation for Tesla eSemis.

“Meijer has always prided itself on being innovative, especially in our fleet and supply chain,” Frank Guglielmi, Meijer spokesman. “We have made a small financial commitment to ensure we are at the front of the line to test this new Tesla truck technology, which has the potential to not only reduce our carbon footprint but also realize cost savings that will allow us to keep prices low for our customers. Once our testing is complete, we will validate several factors, including environmental impact and product safety, and make a decision on whether we will complete the purchase.”

Meijer’s commitment to carbon reduction includes a 60% cut in transportation emissions already.

Generate Capital launches Fremont Digester with Tour

Michigan EIBC member company Generate Capital celebrated the re-opening of the Fremont Regional Digester and demonstrated how to turn organic waste into energy. The company expects to generate enough renewable energy to power 2,500 homes in Michigan.

Now open, the digester can accommodate all types of waste streams and provide complete organic waste management services and create 2.85 MW of green renewable energy from organic waste that is diverted from the landfill.

This tour comes as the Michigan legislature is considering SB 375, a bill that would expand PACE financing to anaerobic digesters like the Fremont Digester.


Michigan Energy News:



News from Washington:

  • A House committee passed a bill designed to boost oil and natural gas drilling on federal lands and off the coasts of Alaska and the Eastern seaboard. Here’s a breakdown of how the House tax bill could affect renewables, electric vehicles and utilities.
  • As part of a live video series, Democratic and Republican policy experts discuss whether the U.S. is doing enough to modernize its energy policies to keep pace with other nations.
  • A Senate tax bill would keep credits for wind, solar and electric vehicles in place, unlike a House version of the bill that threatened to weaken and repeal the credits. 
  • A key Republican senator is working to include a carbon capture tax credit in the Senate’s tax-overhaul. The credit would give companies incentives to expand carbon capture development and infrastructure, which helps cut greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Five Democratic senators issued varying levels of support for nuclear power at a climate conference in Bonn, as the industry faces safety concerns, economic challenges in the United States and other hurdles.
  • A White House official says Trump advisers and U.S. energy company representatives plan to promote wider use of fossil fuels at a global meeting on climate change this week. 
  • Former Environmental Protection Agency attorneys accused EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt of misrepresenting legal settlement practices and work by the agency and the Justice Department, according to an open letter that came after Pruitt rolled out a policy change last month to curb legal settlements with environmental groups, which critics call “sue and settle.”
  • EPA Chief Scott Pruitt says a federal climate change report won’t affect the Trump administration’s decision to roll back the Clean Power Plan. 
  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Neil Chatterjee says the commission will make a decision by December 11 on whether to support Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear plants, but an interim plan to support baseload generation is in the works.
  • A Peabody Energy lobbyist offered input on the Department of Energy study on how to help coal-fired power plants. 
  • Evidence is mounting that a controversial DOE proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear plants was taken from an industry playbook, with coal company CEO Robert Murray wielding particular influence. 
  • A new report outlines ways to make wholesale power markets more reliable without adopting a controversial DOE rule to subsidize coal and nuclear plants.
  • A coalition of 20 energy groups and companies asked FERC to scrap a Department of Energy proposal to prop up coal and nuclear plants, saying supporters haven’t shown a legal justification for it. 
  • Attendees of an “America first” energy conference in Houston say the Trump administration hasn’t done enough to reverse federal climate policies and regulations.
  • The Senate confirmed President Trump’s nomination of a lawyer for the petrochemical industry as the EPA’s new assistant administrator for air and radiation.
  • President Trump’s nominee for deputy EPA administrator says he was involved in crafting the DOE’s proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear plants while still a lobbyist at Murray Energy.
  • President Trump’s nominee for top White House environmental official tells the Senate she has doubts about the link between humans and climate change.
  • President Trump said his 12-day tour of Asia created $300 billion in sales to companies and several major energy deals. However, many of the agreements are non-binding and analysts are uncertain some of the multi-billion dollar projects will be realized.

Cities & Communities leading in Advanced Energy:

Grid & Efficiency News:

Solar Energy News:

Wind Energy News:

  • Poor quarterly earnings from two major wind companies indicate their struggles to adapt to dropping prices for the power source and lower government subsidies and tax incentives.
  • A wind systems developer wants to pair batteries with individual turbines to reduce power fluctuations.
  • Colorado’s wind industry is nervous about pending projects totaling $1.1 billion, as the House and Senate debate over whether to alter renewable energy tax credits. 
  • MidAmerican Energy says a plan in the U.S. House to scale back the production tax credit would impact its $3.6 billion plan to expand wind energy in Iowa.
  • Wisconsin regulators approve a utility’s plan to build a new wind farm in Iowa.
  • A 139-turbine wind project near Decatur, Illinois, is expected to be operational by the end of the year. 
  • Supporters and opponents make their cases at a public hearing on the first offshore wind project in Lake Erie near Cleveland, Ohio. 
  • Agreements are reached to finance and build a 100 MW wind project in northwest Ohio, whose electricity will be sold to General Motors.
  • The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is conducting aerial surveys of wildlife off the coasts of North and South Carolina to help with the process of siting future offshore wind developments.
  • Vermont clean energy advocates say new rules to limit noise from turbines will “have a chilling effect on wind energy” in the state, while opponent insists noise levels are still too high. 

Bioenergy News:

  • Federal investigators issue subpoenas for information on investor Carl Icahn’s efforts to change biofuel policy while serving as an adviser to President Trump.
  • Indiana University installs a bioreactor to convert carbon emissions captured from its heating plant into fertilizer.
  • Missouri Senator Clair McCaskill wants permanent duties on imported biodiesel
  • A Wisconsin county plans to stop generating electricity from landfill gas and instead sell it for use as transportation fuel.

Fossil Fuel & Nuclear Energy News:

  • A group of 37 scientists send a letter asking two U.S. senators not to open Alaska’s National Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, saying drilling there would be “incompatible with the purposes for which the refuge was established.”
  • A bill calling for at least two major lease sales in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would generate $2 billion in oil and gas royalties over the next decade, according to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski. 
  • Alaska announces a deal with three Chinese companies for a $43 billion project that would transport natural gas through a pipeline to Alaska’s coast, where it would be liquefied and shipped to Asia. 
  • A geologist says a proposed injection well in Kansas won’t pose an earthquake risk.
  • A landowner in North Dakota’s Badlands seeks to protect the scenic area from oil and gas development.
  • An analysis explains why much of an $84 billion shale gas deal between West Virginia and China will probably never materialize
  • At an event in Chicago, the author of a Department of Energy reliability report says she was pressured to play up claims that regulations were to blame for coal plants closing.
  • FERC chairman Neil Chatterjee met with Ohio-based FirstEnergy last week to discuss federal plans to support coal and nuclear plants.
  • Long-term prospects are still bleak for the U.S. coal industry one year after President Trump was elected on a promise to revive it.
  • A study funded by coal giant Peabody Energy claims shutting down Arizona’s massive Navajo Generating Station could cause blackouts from Phoenix to Los Angeles. 
  • Dynegy and advocacy groups disagree over whether legislation being considered by Illinois lawmakers constitutes a bailout for the company’s downstate coal plants.
  • A Missouri utility seeks to retire one of its main coal plants a decade early as it adds more wind power. 
  • Georgia Power’s CEO says delays and budget overruns at the Vogtle nuclear plant are not the company’s fault, as state regulators consider the utility’s new budget and schedule.
  • South Carolina’s House speaker is proposing to “gut existing laws” that allowed utilities to charge customers before the now-failed Summer nuclear project was complete.
  • SCANA is fully abandoning the Summer nuclear project by the end of the year in order to apply for a roughly $2 billion tax deduction, which officials say will be passed on to electric customers in South Carolina. 

Technology & Market News:

  • Amazon is seeking a discount on its utility bills as it plans 12 more data centers in central Ohio.
  • General Electric could exit the oil and gas industry and its role in renewable energy is somewhat uncertain, the chief executive said. The announcement sent shares to a five-year low.

Advanced Lighting News:


Michigan Energy Events:

Michigan EIBC is hosting a Wind 101 Lunch & Learn on November 28 for legislators and legislative staff. Sign up here.

You’re invited to the CHP Tour & Roundtable in Partnership with the Institute for Energy Innovation and U-M Energy Institute. The CHP Tour & Roundtable is on December 11 in Ann Arbor. Register here.

Celebrate the Biggest Year of PACE Yet with Lean & Green Michigan. You are invited to a holiday open house at the Levin Energy Partners office in Eastern Market on Thursday, December 14, in Detroit. Fun, food and beverages will be provided. Please RSVP here.


National Energy Events:

EUCI invites you to “An Introduction to Electric Utility Systems,” December 7 – 8 in San Diego, California. This seminar is targeted toward increasing the knowledge of non-technical staff who work or have an interest in the electric utility industry. Participants who are not familiar with utilities and electric power systems can significantly benefit from attending. Since this is a basic seminar, a prior background in electric utility systems or engineering is not expected or required. Register here.

EUCI invites you to the Electric Vehicle-Utility Industry Nexus on December 11-12 in Anaheim, California. This conference addresses critical considerations, opportunities and challenges regarding electric vehicles from the utility perspective. RSVP here.
The U.S. Energy Storage Summit 2017 is taking place December 12-13 in San Francisco. Now in its third year, this event brings together utilities, financiers, regulators, technology innovators, and storage practitioners for two full days of data-intensive presentations, analyst-led panel sessions with industry leaders, and extensive, high-level networking.

Registration is now open for the 2017 Veteran’s Energy Seminar on December 14 in Chicago. This one-day training for military veterans and reservists will include classroom sessions and panels on global energy security challenges. Learn more and register to attend by clicking here.

Mark your calendar for the 5th National Conference on Next Generation Demand Response on February 7-8, in San Diego, California. For more information, and to register, visit the event website here.

With more than 650 attendees, MES is the region’s largest energy efficiency event and an unparalleled networking opportunity. February 7-9, 2018 MEEA will be holding their annual 2018 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference at the Chicago Hilton & Towers. MES is about celebrating accomplishments in energy efficiency, as well as laying out the efficiency program and policy landscape for the coming year.


Additional Resources:

A website from the Michigan Public Service Commission provides details on updates to state energy laws. For more information, or to sign up for notifications, visit