- Newsletter (386)
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:
Report Ranks Michigan As Number One State in Midwest for Clean Energy Jobs
Michigan now leads the Midwest in jobs in clean energy sectors, according to the latest edition of the annual Clean Jobs Midwest report, released this week by E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs).
In 2022, 123,983 Michiganders were employed in clean energy sectors like energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean transportation, grid & storage and clean fuels, more than any other , according to the new report.
Michigan saw 4.6% growth in clean energy jobs in 2022, tied with Ohio for the Midwestern state with the second-highest job growth rate, behind Kansas with 4.7%.
Energy efficiency made up 60% of Michigan’s clean energy jobs. “With the biggest clean energy sector in Michigan being energy efficiency jobs, it’s important for Michigan to continue to support this sector by increasing energy waste reduction targets and making state investments in energy efficiency and building electrification improvements for Michigan households that need it most,” Michigan EIBC Senior Director of Policy Grace Michienzi said in her remarks at a public event for the release of the report, held at the Detroit offices of Michigan EIBC member SEEL, LLC.
Speakers at the event included SEEL CEO Louis James, Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, E2 Midwest States Advocate Micaela Preskill, Emma Hayali, a technician at the Auburn Hills manufacturing facility of Michigan EIBC member FLO EV Charging, SEEL Vice President of Inclusion and Economic Development Scott Alan Davis and Michigan EIBC member Harvest Solar Business Development Manager Mike Westcott.
“Today’s blockbuster report proves that the work we are doing in Michigan is growing our economy and setting a national example for climate action,” Lt. Gov Gilchrist II said in his remarks. “Michiganders in communities across our state are bringing their entrepreneurial know-how and unmatched competitive spirit to the fight against climate change.”
“Clean energy businesses are creating jobs in Michigan faster than the rest of the economy, providing well-paying jobs to enable Michiganders to develop meaningful careers and support their families,” Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman said, as quoted by the Detroit News in an article about the Clean Jobs report. “Clean energy investments also reduce costs for Michigan families while improving power reliability. We look forward to continuing to partner with the state and federal government to remove policy barriers and take full advantage of new investments and opportunities.”
Michigan EIBC, Others Testify in Favor of New Versions of Clean Energy Package Bills
The Michigan Senate Energy and Environment Committee continues to consider changes to bills to create a clean energy standard and strengthen energy waste reduction standards in the state, and Michigan EIBC and other stakeholders testified at a hearing on Sept. 20 to call for the passage of these bills along with changes that would benefit distributed generation, electrification and competition.
Michigan EIBC Director of Policy Justin Carpenter testified in favor of a substitute version of SB 271 that would require a renewable portfolio standard for utilities that increases from 25% by 2026, to 50% by 2030 to 60% by 2033, thereafter changing to a carbon-free energy standard of 80% by 2035, increasing to 100% by 2040.
“An expanded RPS will allow our members to manufacture more components, onshore supply chains develop projects and create well-paying jobs,” Carpenter said. He also spoke in favor of targets for energy storage that are included in the substitute for SB 271.
The bill, however, should go further and eliminate the utility cap on distributed generation, Carpenter said. He also urged committee members to consider expanding opportunities for community solar projects in Michigan. The low-income community solar pilot that would be created by SB 271 is “very limited,” and will not deliver the full potential of benefits of community solar, such as “lower electricity bills, the development of community equity and access to local renewable energy,” he said.
In addition, Carpenter called for adding a provision from HB 4759 to SB 271 that would limit utility ownership to 50% of new renewable energy projects. “To ensure that the beneficial reductions of costs of shifting to renewable energy are fully realized, it is critical that we allow for competition and non-utility ownership. Years of Michigan Public Service Commission [MPSC] data shows that utility-owned renewable projects are more expensive than independently-owned and -operated projects,” he said.
Michigan EIBC Senior Director of Policy Grace Michienzi also testified at the hearing in support of a substitute for SB 273 that would set minimum performance standards and incentives for energy waste reduction programs for electric utilities of 2% of energy savings and 1% for gas utilities. The bill “will ensure that Michigan’s already highly effective energy waste reduction programs continue to reduce energy bills for consumers while supporting the expanding energy efficiency and building electrification industries in Michigan,” Michienzi said. She also spoke in favor of additional elements of the substitute bill. Language in the substitute clarifies that both electric and gas utilities may offer and promote efficient electric appliances such as cold-climate air-source heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, heat pump water heaters and other electrification measures. The substitute also offers specific energy waste reduction programs for low-income customers. These programs “will help to expand accessibility to energy efficiency strategies across the state,” Michienzi said.
Also testifying at the hearing in support of the bills was Deana Dennis, senior manager of state policy at Michigan EIBC trade organization member Ceres. She said the clean energy standard from SB 271 “will help companies better manage [climate change] risk, promote long-term profitability, safeguard the resilience of their supply chains and allow them to meet the growing demands of their customers and investors, who increasingly demand greater sustainability and climate action.”
Michigan EIBC member Michigan Biomass Director Gary Melow testified, arguing that a section of SB 271 that prohibits biomass plants from being considered “renewable” energy if they co-fire with tire-derived fuels (TDF) should be removed from the bill. He said co-firing with TDF is important for the efficiency of producing power from biomass and overall improves emissions by keeping tires out of landfills and capturing particulate matter when they are co-fired.
In addition to other speakers, MPSC Chair Dan Scripps testified at the hearing in favor of the bills, saying they “balance meaningful climate action with reliability and affordability for customers.”
New Bill To Help Homeowners’ Associations Residents Add Distributed Generation, Storage, EV Chargers and Efficiency
A bill (HB 5028) introduced this week to the Michigan House and supported by Michigan EIBC would allow residents of homeowners’ associations to add rooftop solar, storage, EV charging equipment, heat pumps or other kinds of energy-saving improvements or modifications to their homes.
“Under this bill, a homeowners association would not be able to prevent the ability of a homeowner to make energy-saving modifications and improvements on their home,” the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Ranjeev Puri (D-Canton), tweeted. “This would mean no more all out prohibitions on things such as rooftop solar panels or EV chargers. I have heard from so many constituents on this issue who are eager to make energy-saving modifications to their home. These investments can come with a host of benefits for homeowners, such as: reduced energy costs, increased property value, environmental sustainability, and energy independence!”
The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, Environment, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation.
Michigan EIBC Is Hiring A Policy Fellow
Michigan EIBC and the Institute for Energy Innovation (IEI) are hiring a full-time policy fellow! The initial fellowship term will be one year with the potential for extension dependent on the candidate’s performance and availability of funding.
Anticipated tasks include:
- Policy research, especially focused on transportation electrification
- Development of regulatory arguments and writing of expert witness testimony
- Support for development of expanded mobility work, including background research
- Communication and collaboration with members of the advanced energy industry
- Support of mobility-specific initiatives, including research and report writing
Desired qualifications include:
- Policy, technical, or educational experience in mobility or transportation electrification
- Strong writing and research skills
- Graduate-level degree (preferred) in business, political science, sustainability, clean energy, environment, or related field or equivalent experience
- Experience communicating with business leaders and balancing the multiple interests
- Eagerness to step in to help with any task to support a small team
- Ability to communicate professionally with business leaders and partners
- Ability to balance multiple tasks at once
- Strong self-motivation and ability to take initiative
Thank You to Sponsors for the 11th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala in Detroit on Sept. 27
Ticket sales have closed for the 11th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala on September 27th at The Eastern in Detroit. Gala is a wonderful opportunity to network with colleagues, policymakers, and industry experts, all while celebrating the individuals and businesses who succeeded in growing Michigan’s advanced energy sector.
The Watt Level (Sold Out)
Highland Electric Fleets
Highland Electric Fleets is a comprehensive turnkey solutions provider that delivers electric school buses (EVSB) to school districts and third-party managed fleet providers (3PMs). We offer a model involving financing, infrastructure, vehicle deployment, and maintenance in an easily digestible, economic format that enables EVSB acquisition at traditional diesel cost of ownership. Our mission is to eliminate the barriers to better student health and cleaner air. We aim to mitigate risk for our customers, increase EVSB market penetration, and deliver positive impacts across a broad spectrum of stakeholders: students, communities, school districts, fleet operators, manufacturers, and utilities.
Renewable Energy Systems | res
RES is the world’s largest independent renewable energy company. At the forefront of the industry for over 40 years, RES has delivered more than 23GW of renewable energy projects across the globe and supports an operational asset portfolio exceeding 10GW worldwide for a large client base. RES employs more than 2,500 people and is active in 11 countries working across onshore and offshore wind, solar, energy storage and transmission and distribution.
Mid-market companies leverage our “strategy as a service” to build more robust, resilient and sustaining growth. Being strategic growth catalysts, we accelerate the success of companies growing in their current markets, introducing new products and services, and diversifying into new markets. We are based in Michigan and have worked with clean tech and clean energy companies and organizations for many years.
Michigan Energy News
- “I think this report really is a blockbuster and affirms that we are on the right path and that we need to continue to do more,” Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II says of the Clean Jobs Midwest report at the event at SEEL, LLC offices in Detroit.
- Representatives of United Auto Workers testify in favor at a Michigan Senate Labor Committee hearing in support of SB 519, which would create an office within the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to help workers and communities affected by the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy find new jobs.
- Consumers Energy announces a new renewable energy offering that the utility says will allow customers to match 100% of their energy use to wind and solar.
- Several events are being held throughout Michigan in recognition of National Drive Electric Week from Sept. 22 to Oct. 1.
- Indiana Michigan Power files its next electric rate case, which has implications for the future of its distributed generation program.
National Energy News
- The U.S. Climate Alliance, a group of 25 states including Michigan, announces a goal of installing 20 million heat pumps by 2030.
- Mary Powell, CEO of Michigan EIBC member Sunrun, talks on David Roberts’s Volts podcast about how to ease the process for adding rooftop solar across the U.S.
- The U.S. Department of Energy’s new “Pathways to Commercial Liftoff” report looks at the costs and benefits of decarbonizing industrial sectors like chemicals, refining, iron and steel, food and beverage processing, pulp and paper, cement, aluminum and glass.
- Virginia regulators strike down Dominion Energy’s interconnection rules for distributed energy resources as “unreasonable” for small-scale solar.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include in the email a specific end date for the job posting.
Advanced Energy United
Advanced Energy United (United) seeks an experienced, strategic and innovative Energy Regulatory Director with a focus on regulatory strategy and engagement to join Advanced Energy United’s team. The Director will work with other United team members to develop and implement multi-year strategies and campaigns designed to achieve policy successes at the state level that will expand markets for the advanced energy industry and accelerate the U.S. transition to 100% clean energy.
Working in close coordination with the regional Managing Director for our Central states, the Regulatory Policy Director will develop and execute a comprehensive regulatory engagement strategy at public utility commissions and other state agencies that covers the full scope of our clean energy and transportation priorities. This includes educating commissioners and staff, working with other stakeholders, and engaging in a range of proceedings, from investigatory to fully litigated. In addition, the Director will manage and mentor early career team members who will carry out the day-to-day state regulatory work.
Advanced Energy United is currently seeking a Director to join our Wholesale Markets team as we expand our engagement into the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and Southwest Power Pool (SPP) markets (United’s current wholesale markets engagement is focused on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, ISO New England, and PJM Interconnection).
This role will be responsible for launching and leading United’s advocacy in these markets to increase opportunities for advanced energy technologies to compete and participate in wholesale markets. This will include working with United member companies to identify priorities and form positions; attending relevant stakeholder meetings; building relationships with MISO and SPP staff, relevant state representatives, and other stakeholders; and developing and advancing advocacy strategies.
Cultivate Power is seeking a Director of Community Partnerships & Investment. This person will help originate, develop and foster community partnership and investment opportunities in the host communities and regions where Cultivate Power develops distributed energy projects. Additionally, the Director will work to build systems and standardized processes for engaging communities on every project. This is a unique role with the opportunity for the Director to drive industry-leading impact to create greater inclusion, equity and benefit to communities through innovation and creation of new programs and partnerships. The Director will report directly to one of the Managing Directors and co-founders of Cultivate Power.
Michigan EGLE is hiring a Deputy Climate and Energy Advisor. This position will participate in the design, implementation, and evaluation of the Office of Climate and Energy (OCE) and EGLE programs to implement the MI Healthy Climate Plan in a just and equitable manner. Find out more about this position and apply by clicking here.
Michigan EIBC member Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University is calling all innovators to apply for its Industrial Decarbonization Innovation Challenge. The goal of this challenge is to globally crowdsource best-in-class industrial decarbonization technologies and connect them with industrial corporate sponsors to accelerate their emission reduction goals and industrial decarbonization programs. Up to $250,000 in prizes will be made available to demonstrate and test best-in-class industrial decarbonization technologies in a real world setting.Click here to learn more about the challenge. Applications will close on Nov. 30.
Acadia Center is seeking to fill the role of Senior Director, Climate & Clean Energy Programs. Learn more here.
Consumers Energy plans to issue a RFP for solar generation projects in accordance with the company’s Proposed Course of Action in its Integrated Resource Plan. This forthcoming RFP is separate and distinct from the ongoing Consumers Energy 2023 VGP RFP for Wind and Solar generation projects.Enel X anticipates formally releasing the upcoming RFP and associated documents in October 2023.
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 October 1, 2023.
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.
The City of Detroit has issued a Request for Information seeking feedback on the number and type of projects that would best achieve the goal of generating enough renewable energy to power municipal operations and buildings with locally generated and City-owned solar power. Find more information here. Responses are due October 2, 2023.