Newsletter: Michigan EIBC Hosts West Michigan Networking Meeting

This newsletter was originally published on October 14, 2015.

Michigan EIBC Hosts West Michigan Networking Meeting

Michigan EIBC hosted it’s final networking meeting in West Michigan for the year at Varnum Law, LLC in Grand Rapids. The meeting was well attended by people working in the full suite of advanced energy: solar, energy management, biomass and economic development.

Members and guests were given a brief legislative update from the summer. Dr. Haris Alibasic, Director of Energy and Sustainability for the City of Grand Rapids, gave a presentation on the city’s successes in tapping into renewable energy and reducing energy waste.

Alibasic also mentioned the Grand Rapids 2030 District currently in its emerging phase. An initiative spearheaded by the Mayor George Heartwell, 2030 Districts are private-led partnerships to cut the energy usage, water usage and transportation emissions of central business districts in half by 2030. There are currently 11 other districts in the country right now. EIBC’s sister organization, the Institute for Energy Innovation, has been one of the main facilitators in getting the district up off the ground.


Reserve Your Seat for the GALA Now!

Michigan EIBC is happy to host the 3rd annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala. In addition, Valerie Brader, Executive Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy, will offer opening remarks.
The Gala will take place on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing. Registration begins at 4:30 pm. The event will kick off with a reception at 5:00 pm followed by dinner at 6:00 pm. 

James Chen joined Tesla in August of 2010 and currently serves as the company’s
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. Based in Washington, D.C., Jim is responsible for all aspects of government affairs and regulation at the international, federal and state levels for Tesla. He also serves as Tesla’s Associate General Counsel where he is tasked with ensuring compliance with the legal requirements applicable to Tesla’s products and facilities. Jim also assists on business deals for the company, including furthering Tesla’s relationships with strategic partners in the established automobile industry.
Valerie Brader is the Executive Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy, a position she has held since the Agency’s creation earlier this year. Her service with the Snyder administration began in 2011, previously serving as Deputy Legal Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Snyder, including work on the City of Detroit bankruptcy case. Before her service in state government she was a member (partner) at Bodman PLC, practicing primarily environmental and corporate law (with a specialization in assisting new or expanding businesses, from incorporation to securing permits and tax credits).
The annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala is the opportunity for Michigan’s advanced energy industry to pay tribute to and recognize those businesses, policymakers, and others who are doing the most to build the industry in Michigan.
Awards will be presented in five categories: 

  • Business of the Year
  • Emerging Company of the Year
  • Employer of the Year
  • Public Official of the Year
  • Energy Innovators Business Hall of Fame

There are several sponsorship opportunities available. All sponsorship levels include a table (8 tickets) and participation in the awards committee to determine recipients for the awards listed above. If you’re interested in sponsorship, please contact Nicole Forward.


New/Renewing Members

Michigan SAVES!

Michigan Saves is a nonprofit dedicated to making energy improvements easier for all Michigan energy consumers. To accomplish this, Michigan Saves makes affordable financing and other incentives available through partnerships with private sector lenders. We also authorize and monitor a network of contractors and recognize those with advanced training. Our current portfolio includes programs for residential, commercial, multifamily, and municipal customers, and supports energy efficiency, geothermal, and solar PV projects.


Michigan Energy News

Bridge Magazine has a piece on the successes of the 2008 energy law as well as the current energy debate in the Legislature.

Platts has a piece on DTE energy retiring a 50 MW biomass plant and are requesting bids for a 25 MW solar array.

The Free Press has a piece on the future of renewable in Michigan including stories on wind and solar.

The Free Press also has a piece on the television ads sponsored by Citizen’s for Michigan’s Energy Future, the utility-backed PAC.

MiBiz reported on the successful year of rate savings due to the energy optimization standard.

Utility Dive also reported about the success of Michigan’s energy efficiency law.

Free Press also reported about the scheduled closure of 25 coal plants by 2020, and the need to fill that capacity.


National Energy News

Morning Consult has a piece about groups highlighting the benefits solar storage to help push the extension of the solar ITC.

Utility Dive has an expose on the relationship between pro-renewable legislators in California and the state’s main investor-owned utilities, and the future of energy storage.

The Northwest Indiana Times has a piece on the NIPSCO 2015 Energy Summit, and the discussion on the Midwest’s future with renewables.

San Diego 6 has a piece on the military’s usage of micro-grids and renewables to maintain higher grid security for Camp Pendleton.

Pacific Business News has a piece on the effects of Hawaii’s net metering program being capped at current customers.

Utility Dive has a story on the uncertainty of offshore wind in the US.

Greentech media has a piece on how increasing support from political conservatives increases the chances of the ITC being extended this year.

Tennessee is working on a mulit-state energy efficiency registry to help create standardized benchmarks for energy savings and help with compliance for the Clean Power Plan.

Michigan Energy Events
The Energy Alliance Group of Michigan is hosting an event called Keeping PACE with Energy Efficiency in Michigan, highlighting the opportunities surrounding property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for business owners. The event will take place Tuesday, October 13 from 3-6pm in Traverse City.
Michigan EIBC will be hosting their next West Michigan Advanced Energy Business Networking Event on Thursday, October 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event is free for Michigan EIBC members and $25 for non-members. Register here.

The 2015 Michigan Advanced Lighting Conference, featuring the Michigan Solid State Lighting Association Annual Symposium, will take place on Wednesday, October 29 in Lansing.

The Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association is hosting is 2nd Annual Banquet on Wednesday, November 4. More information is available here.

The 3rd Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala will be held Tuesday, November 10 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. Individual tickets can be purchased here. Contact Nicole Forward for more information on table purchases and other sponsorship opportunities.

National Energy Events
The Association for Demand Response and Smart Grid will be hosting a National Summit on Smart Grid and Climate Change in Washington, DC, October 13-14. More details can be found here.
The 2015 Energy Storage North America Expo will be held on Tuesday, October 13, in San Diego. Find more out here.
AWEA is hosting its 2015 Wind Energy Finance and Investment Seminar on October 15-16 in New York.
Platt’s 17th Annual Financing US Power Conference is taking place October 29-30, 2015in New York.
The 8th Annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-West (REFF-WEST) will take place in San Francisco on November 5-6.

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.