Newsletter: New IEI Report Highlight Challenges, Opportunities of Advanced Energy in Michigan

This newsletter was originally published on January 26, 2015.

New IEI Report Highlight Challenges, Opportunities of Advanced Energy in Michigan

A series of roadblocks are preventing Michigan from taking full advantage of its significant potential for renewable energy, according to a report released by Michigan EIBC’s sister organization the Institute for Energy Innovation. The Barriers Report is the first comprehensive attempt to identify and catalog the many barriers that impede the adoption of advanced energy technologies and business models in Michigan, and finds that Michigan has multiple opportunities to reap the economic benefits of a world transitioning from fossilfuel based energy sources to advanced energy technologies that will power the century ahead, provided it can eliminate the barriers that stand in the way. The barriers identified in the report range from transactional and organizational issues to barriers that are economic and policy-based.

In addition to identifying barriers, the report offers a three-objective action plan with recommendations designed to move Michigan to an advanced energy economy including:

Reducing Energy Waste. It is estimated that 59 percent of primary energy consumed is wasted. Among the recommendations to reduce energy waste:

  • Increase Michigan’s natural gas and electric energy optimization standard, and eliminate the cap on utility expenditures for energy optimization programs.
  • Recognize demand response and energy efficiency as energy system resources, allowing full participation in energy markets.
  • Expand financing options for energy upgrades, including Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), onbill financing (OBF) and on-bill repayment (OBR) programs, revolving loan funds, credit enhancements, performance contracting, and other tools.

Modernizing Electric Generation and Delivery. Michigan spends $22.6 billion annually on energy imports. Recommendations to reduce this expenditure include:

  • Increasing Michigan’s renewable portfolio standard, setting new medium-term and long-term targets for advanced energy at levels equal to leading states.
  • Establishing a comprehensive, adaptive process for forecasting Michigan’s future electric demand and assessing electric generation technologies taking into account capital, operating and fuel costs, environmental concerns, anticipated regulations, and the adoption of distributed energy resources by utilities and end users.
  • Allowing distributed energy resources to compete head-to-head with conventional resources; create a level playing field for all energy resources and energy services by limiting fees and charges associated with interconnection, standby services, load firming, and other administrative costs.
  • Enabling individuals, businesses and industries that want a greater share of their energy from renewable energy sources to be able to do so.

Advanced Energy in the Transportation Sector. Electrifying transportation would fortify U.S. national and energy security while taking advantage of Michigan’s strengths in the auto sector, providing opportunities for higher-skilled, better paying jobs in advanced manufacturing. Recommendations include:

  • Policies and incentives that accelerate electric vehicle penetration and the availability of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).
  • Collaborations between Michigan automobile manufacturers, advanced energy storage companies, and universities and national laboratories to develop next generation energy storage technologies, control systems and power electronics for electric vehicles.
  • Support for vehicle to grid (V2G) and vehicle to home (V2H) technologies to integrate electric vehicles into the smart-grid and to provide ancillary services and demand management capabilities.


Michigan EIBC Hosts Energy Briefing for New Legislators, Lobby Day, Industry Reception

Michigan EIBC, together with Advanced Energy Economy, hosted an Energy 101 Energy Briefing for new lawmakers on Tuesday, as well as an Advanced Energy Lobby Day and Reception that connected industry leaders with the key policymakers who will be deciding energy policy for the state in this legislative session.

The Energy 101 event saw participation from 10 new members of the Michigan House of Representatives, as well as legislative staff. The morning session included presentations from Michigan Public Service Commission Chair John Quackenbush and MPSC Commissioner Greg White, as well as briefings from Jean Redfield of NextEnergy, JR Tolbert from AEE, Don Schurr from Greater Gratiot Development Inc., Larry Ward from the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum, Anand Gangadharan of NOVI Energy, Tim Mahler of CLEAResult, George Stojic of the Lansing Board of Water and Light, Dave Palsrok representing Wind on the Wires, and Justin Palm of Lumerica. Dan Scripps and Liesl Eichler Clark of Michigan EIBC also presented.

In the afternoon, Michigan EIBC and AEE member companies met with 16 members of the House and Senate energy committees to highlight the benefits of advanced energy to Michigan. Participating companies included Chart House Energy, CLEAResult, EnerNOC, Four Elements Energy, Lumerica, NextEnergy, and Simple Energy.

The day concluded with an Advanced Energy Capitol Day reception featuring remarks from MPSC Commissioner Sally Talberg.

Thank you to our member companies for participating in a fun and impactful day of meetings, and look for updates on Michigan EIBC’s advocacy efforts on your behalf!


Michigan EIBC in Action

Michigan EIBC works hard to make sure the business voice for advanced energy in Michigan is heard loud and clear where it matters most. This section highlights some of our weekly activities so you can track our activities on your behalf. Any questions or want to make sure we’re aware of a key industry event? Contact us at

  • Michigan EIBC, together with Advanced Energy Economy, hosted an Advanced Energy Lobby Day and Reception that connected industry leaders with the key policymakers who will be deciding energy policy for the state in this legislative session.
  • Michigan EIBC President Dan Scripps presented on the advantages of energy efficiency, demand management, renewable energy, and energy storage as part of a panel discussion on Capacity and Reliability at MSU’s Institute for Public Utilities’ annual Michigan Forum on Economic Regulatory Policy. Michigan EIBC VP for Policy and Business Engagement also attended the Forum.


Michigan Energy News

  • DTE Energy has issued a Request for Proposal for a package of energy-efficiency programs that includes home energy consultations, energy-efficiency assistance, home energy surveys, a multifamily program and a school program. DTE has also issued an RFP for simple cycle natural gas generation of up to 350 MW.
  • Michigan EIBC member TOGGLED is now a licensee to its patent portfolio of over 60 patents primarily related to LED replacements for fluorescent tubes, commonly referred to as TLEDs, to Koninklijke Philips N.V. The license agreement resolves all patent litigation between TOGGLED and Philips.
  • Michigan EIBC member Energy Power Systems, LLC (EPS) is establishing a high-volume manufacturing facility in Pontiac, Michigan, creating more than 300 new high-tech and manufacturing jobs during the initial production phase.


Upcoming Michigan Events 

PlugVolt will be hosting the 2015 Battery Seminar in Plymouth, February 10 – 11, 2015.

Save the Date! Michigan EIBC will be hosting the Annual Members Meeting on Monday, April 20, 2015 in Lansing.

The 2015 CHP Conference will take place on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing. The event, being held for the first time, is focused on Michigan’s combined-heat-and-power/ cogeneration sector, and is being co-hosted by Michigan EIBC and Oakland University. More details and registration will be available soon.

The Engineering Society of Detroit and DTE are hosting the 2015 Energy Conference and Exhibition on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at the Suburban Collection Showcase in Novi.  


Upcoming National Energy Events

The U.S. Department of Energy’s arpa-e Energy Innovation Summit will be held February 9-11, 2015 in Washington D.C.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is sponsoring a Finance and Tax Seminar on February 26-27 in New York, NY.

The Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit 2015 is taking place April 13-15, 2015 in New York, NY. The theme for the 2015 Summit is “Opportunities in Transformation.”

The American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) annual WINDPOWER 2015 Conference and Exposition is being held May 18-21, 2015 in Orlando, FL. The early-bird registration deadline is February 24, 2015, with additional discounts for those who register by January 9. Michigan EIBC will be hosting a Michigan Pavilion at WINDPOWER 2015. If your company is interested in exhibition space as part of the Michigan Pavilion, please contact

U.S. Advanced Energy News

  • Legislators in Indiana are debating a bill that would change the economics of generating energy on-site and selling back to the grid, which is known as net metering.
  • Florida’s largest investor owned utility announced plans to build three new solar farms that would nearly double the state’s solar capacity.
  • Hawaii has several advanced energy related bills that will be the focus of this year’s legislative session.
  • Ohio is losing investor confidence and dollars in the clean energy market because of a temporary freeze in policy passed in June, according to a policy brief from Pew Charitable Trusts.
  • The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued Notice 2015-4 providing new performance and quality standards that require certification of small wind turbines – defined as having a nameplate capacity of up to 100 kW – in order to qualify for the 30% federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC).


Advanced Energy Resources

  • The Department of Energy has unveiled a website that will provide free public access to accepted peer-reviewed manuscripts or published scientific journal articles from projects funded by the DOE within 12 months of publication.
  • Advanced Energy Economy, Michigan EIBC’s national partner organization, has launched PowerSuite, a new 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.
  • First Energy Finance, which includes Michigan EIBC Board Member Rachel Tronstein, launched, a new 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 has launched 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 Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker, an online resource developed by Advanced Energy Economy, Michigan EIBC’s national partner, and the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, features a free, searchable database of pending and enacted advanced energy legislation covering electric generation, energy efficiency, infrastructure, energy finance, economic development and other issues.
  • DOE’s Wind Program recently updated its website, expanding its Offshore Wind RD&D webpage to a full section, including content on its portfolio of technology development, market acceleration, and demonstration projects. The program’s offshore wind portfolio is aimed at overcoming key barriers to offshore wind development, including the relatively high cost of energy, the mitigation of environmental impacts, the technical challenges of project installation, and grid interconnection. These pages create a hub for program-funded offshore wind project results, reports, and resources, and will be updated regularly as projects conclude.
  • The Energy Department has launched a new online tool—the Wind Career Map. The map highlights the broad range of careers and required skill sets across the wind industry
  • Consumers Energy has begun accepting applications for residential solar capacity in Phase 26 of the Experimental Advanced Renewable Program (EARP). Applications for Phase 26 and 27 must be submitted by 11:59 pm on January 31, 2015 and are available on the EARP website.


Funding Opportunities

  • Apply to participate in Rebuild Michigan, a program that helps commercial property owners reduce energy use, while saving money and improving building quality. Applications will be evaluated as they are received.
  • The Michigan Business Accelerator Fund provides support to organizations providing specialized business acceleration services and resources. Maximum funding is $50,000. Applications will be evaluated as they are received.
  • NextEnergy has launched NextChallenge, a business competition meant to inspire the development of innovative energy solutions. The challenge will address the unique lighting technology needs of Ford Motor Company and RecoveryPark, a major urban farming operation in Detroit. Participants are asked to submit an online Request for Solutions proposal to one, or both, lighting challenges by 11:59 p.m. EST on March 6, 2015. Michigan-based winners are eligible for up to $80,000 cash and/or in-kind support and non-Michigan-based winners are eligible for up to $40,000 in-kind support.
  • The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) through the Energy Office (MEO) is offering small businesses, currently located in Michigan, financial assistance for energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy project implementation. Deadline: September 30, 2015 or until funds are exhausted.
  • The SunShot Initiative has released a notice of intent to Issue Solar Energy Manufacturing 2 Funding Announcement.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy will provide loans for projects that employ innovative and renewable or efficient energy technologies. Deadlines: December 2, 2015: March 2, 2016
  • MEDC opening funding announcements.
  • Funding opportunities listed on NextEnergy’s website.
  • Financial opportunities from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
  • U.S. Small Business Administration grants.



The Energy Department will present a live webinar titled “ESPC 2.0: How a New Generation of Energy Savings Performance Contracting is Improving Energy Efficiency in U.S. Buildings” on Tuesday, February 3, from 3:00 to 4:00 ET.