Newsletter: Michigan Renewable Energy Fair Taking Place This Weekend

This newsletter was originally published on June 22, 2015.

Michigan Renewable Energy Fair Taking Place This Weekend
The annual Michigan Renewable Energy Fair gets underway today and runs through tomorrow at the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason. This year’s fair celebrates Energy Independence, including the advantages of solar energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and a range of other solutions driven by rapidly declining costs and innovations in technology.

The event also features the initial kick-off meeting for the Michigan Solar Users Network (MiSUN), as well as the 2015 Electric Vehicles Show, co-hosted by the Michigan Electric Autos Association and Michigan Tesla Owners.

Michigan EIBC is proud to partner with our friends at the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association in promoting the 2015 Michigan Renewable Energy Fair. Now in its 15th year, the Michigan Renewable Energy Fair combines a fun atmosphere with hands-on activities and small size workshops where attendees can ask questions to engaging speakers.
Look for the Michigan EIBC team this weekend at the Michigan Renewable Energy Fair. We hope to see you there!

Nominations Open for Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards
Nominations are now open for the first annual Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards! These prestigious awards are designed to honor the innovators, the trendsetters, and those completely committed to energy efficiency in Michigan. You can shine a spotlight on the people and organizations who are putting in the work to save energy and help Michigan become a leader in this important work by nominating them for one of the following award categories:

  • Innovator of the Year
  • Contractor of the Year
  • Best Communication or Education Program
  • Best Project (Residential)
  • Best Project (Commercial – Private Sector)
  • Best Project (Commercial – Public Sector)
  • Best Project (Industrial/ Manufacturing)
  • Best Project (Agriculture) 

The awards event, happening this September in Lansing, is headlined by Governor Rick Snyder, who will select the awardees. The ceremony is exclusive to finalists, their guests, sponsors, and the Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards Steering Committee.  
Nominations are due by Friday, July 31, and can be made online at


New/Renewed Members

Mackinaw Power

Mackinaw Power is developing new renewable energy projects to provide power for the Great Lakes at competitive prices. Mackinaw Power also uses its experience within the wind industry to work with a variety of companies in Michigan to increase the supply chain for renewable energy technologies in the Midwest.

In 2003, Mackinaw Power acquired the assets of Bay Windpower, which developed the Great Lakes’ first privately developed wind power project. Mackinaw Power plans to be a catalyst for sustainable economic growth, environmental stewardship, and energy security. We are working to build sustainable communities to provide clean, affordable wind power by harvesting the area’s wind resources.

Mackinaw Power is investing in Michigan’s future generations. We look forward to working with you to create renewable power that protects our Great Lakes, public health, and farm land.

OU Inc

OU INC is a smartzone business incubator/ accelerator located on the campus of Oakland University. OU INC advances the economic strength of the region by transitioning industry and university innovations into commercial success with a focus on energy; information technology, and medical devices. It fosters a healthy environment for the growth of new start-up companies, and provides support for existing entities through its business development resources and through specific center locations within OU INC. Those centers include the Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) and the Energy Systems Acceleration and Integration Lab (ESAIL).

Patriot Solar Group

We are a proud Michigan company that is dedicated to becoming one of the most recognized brands in the solar industry. Patriot Solar Group is embedded in a long line of history, which started in 1992 as Patriot Antenna Systems. President, Jeffery Mathie, lead this company to the top of the telecommunications industry reaching $40,000,000 in Annuals Sales and was recognized as an Inc. 500 Company. Over 8 Million systems were deployed worldwide until Patriot Antenna Systems was sold in 2006. Patriot Solar Group branched out to become self-sustaining. A manufacturer of solar mounting systems, Patriot offers a full line of products including fixed position ground mounts, roof mounts, pole mounts, single and dual-axis tracking systems along with multiple off-grid power systems. Our company also offers commercial installation services, which includes post pounding, racking assembly and panel installation.

Veolia Energy

Veolia North America is a leading U.S. operator and developer of efficient energy solutions. In Grand Rapids, Veolia’s district energy facility provides convenient, reliable and cost-effective thermal energy to approximately 120 commercial, government, institutional and healthcare customers. Globally, Veolia is the leader in optimized resource management and designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them.


Michigan Energy News

DTE recently announced their asking for bids for a solar project in Southeast Michigan ranging from 5 to 50 MW of electricity

Former state Senator Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing) and former Congressman Joe Schwartz wrote a joint op-ed about the importance of advancing renewables and energy efficiency measures in any energy plan.

Jim Dulzo, senior energy policy specialist for the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, wrote an opinion piece in the Grand Haven Tribune on the need to use renewable energy and efficiency mandates within a largely regulated energy market.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy toured NextEnergy’s campus and talked about the future of renewables.

A new survey from MISO projects a 1.7 GW surplus across the 15 states within the region instead of a shortfall, as had previously been estimated. There is still a shortfall within MISO’s Lower Peninsula zone, but that surplus can supported by the region’s surplus.

Sen. Mike Nofs (R-Battle Creek) has stated that the projected MISO region surplus does not change his upcoming energy legislation, expected to be introduced soon.

Consumer’s Energy self-implemented a consumer electric rate increase of $110 million, making use of a provision in Michigan’s utility law that allows them to increase rates six months after their initial request was filed with the Michigan Public Service Commission.

The MPSC approved time of usage rates for DTE customers who have smart meters. This allows the utility to charge more for their power during high demand times and less during other times, encouraging conservation by customers.

State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) wrote an op-ed about his recently introduced legislation to have an integrated resource plan be created for the Upper Peninsula, and the importance of the U.P. having their own energy plan.

State Rep. Todd Courser (R-Lapeer) has hinted that he will soon introduce his own energy choice legislation.


National Energy News

The White House announced last week that they raised $4 billion in private investment and commitments in clean energy, and unveiled a set of executive actions that they hope will help spur future private sector investment in clean energy technologies.

A recent Vox article highlighted a study critical of the federal weatherization efforts, though an NRDC blog casts its doubts on the study.

Senator Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), introduced S.1584 which would phase out the Renewable Fuels Standard, which mandates that transportation fuel sold in the U.S. must contain a minimum volume of renewable fuels.

House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved a funding measure with riders that would halt Environmental Protection Agency regulations on carbon emissions and water.

The Senate Interior and Environment Budget Subcommittee also voted for a funding measure that attached similar riders, while also cutting EPA’s budget in half.

Solar developers continue to rush to install projects ahead of the investment tax credit’s deadline.

Tesla Motors is partnering with Jeff Dahn, a professor at Dalhouise University in Nova Scotia, to lower the costs of its batteries.

Pope Francis wrote a 184 page encyclical on the importance on tacking climate change


Upcoming Michigan Energy Events 

The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association’s annual Michigan Renewable Energy Fair will be today and tomorrow, June 26-27, 2015, at the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason.

The 2015 Michigan Energy Providers Conference will be held July 29-31 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. The conference is presented by the Michigan Electric and Gas Association.

Michigan EIBC’s next West Michigan Advanced Energy Business Networking Meeting will take place Thursday, July 30 at Varnum in Grand Rapids. Registration and additional details will be available soon. As always, lunch will be provided and the meeting is free for Michigan EIBC Members and $25 for non-members. You can register here.

Michigan EIBC is hosting an Ann Arbor Advanced Energy Business Networking Meeting at Sakti3 on Friday, August 7 from 11am-2pm. Michigan EIBC will give an update on the current state and federal energy policy debate and Sakti3 President and Michigan EIBC Board Member Dr. Ann Marie Sastry will talk about the company’s current work. Lunch will be provided. This meeting is free for Michigan EIBC Members and $25 for non-members. Register here.

The September Michigan Energy Forum meeting will be held Thursday, September 10from 5-7pm at Ann Arbor SPARK. The theme for the September meeting is “Michigan Solar Industry Update – Policy and Market Trends.”

Upcoming National Energy Events

The 12th Annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum – Wall Street wraps up today in New York.

Solar Power International will be held this year from September 14-17 in Anaheim, California.
Fortune’s ’Brainstorm E: Where Energy, Technology, and Sustainability Meet’ will take place September 28-29 in Austin.  

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.