Newsletter: New Report Shows Potential for Clean Energy Manufacturing in Michigan

This newsletter was originally published on June 27, 2016.

New Report Shows Potential for Clean Energy Manufacturing in Michigan

A new report is highlighting the potential for building efficiency and advanced energy manufacturing in Michigan through additional research and development. The Clean Energy Roadmap, commissioned by the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE), with authors from the Ohio Development Services Agency – Office of Energy and Redevelopment, NextEnergy and Team NEO of Ohio, is collaborative effort between Michigan and Northeast Ohio to accelerate the region’s advanced energy sector.

The report focused on two main goals, developing focused strategies for advancing the energy efficient building technology cluster, and developing clear technology roadmaps for several energy-intensive, advanced energy manufacturing processes to reduce the energy cost of these processes.

“For Michigan, this roadmap demonstrates the opportunities that lie in strengthening clean energy manufacturing to diversify and strengthen the economy,” Valerie Brader, executive director of the Michigan Agency for Energy, said. “By implementing the report’s recommendations, clean energy manufacturing will continue to play a role in advancing (Snyder’s) energy vision for Michigan, one built on affordability, reliability and environmental protection.”

The report places a strong focus on increased research and development, working to coordinate with entities where most intellectual property and investment occur, like universities and research facilities. The report also highlights increasing deployment of clean energy technologies, increasing their exportation and strengthening energy efficiency’s value chain as goals. You can read the full report here.


EPA proposes Clean Energy Incentive Program

The EPA has proposed a new rule for the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP). A part of the Clean Power Plan, it incentivizes states and power companies to make earlier shifts to reduce carbon pollution. The rule is an update from the original CEIP, which was first proposed alongside the CPP.

Under the updated version of the CEIP, early investments in wind, solar, and energy efficiency in low-income communities will earn valuable emission allowances (in states that choose a mass-based plan) or emission rate credits (ERCs) (in states that choose a rate-based plan) for the electricity they save or the renewable power they produce in 2020 and 2021.  The rule was updated to better support low-income communities and spur additional energy projects that would have otherwise not occurred.

Some of these changes from the original CEIP rule are:

  1. Splitting the credit allowance pool in half, 150 million allowances for renewable energy projects and 150 million for low-income community projects.
  2. Clarifying when projects receive credit under CEIP, to facilitate energy efficiency projects.
  3. Broadening the eligibility of renewable projects to include geothermal and hydropower.
  4. With the extension of the investment and production tax credits, ensuring the CEIP drives additional investments.
  5. Properly defining a “low-income community.”


New/Renewing Members

Granger collects tomorrow’s energy providing waste hauling, disposal and recycling services and producing renewable energy from landfill gas. Granger has been a leader in the development of renewable energy projects since 1985. A fourth generation, family-owned and operated business based in Lansing, Michigan, Granger has gained national recognition for its landfill gas-to-energy projects from leaders in the field, state agencies and the U.S. EPA. Granger has been a landfill owner and operator since 1973, and has successfully developed landfill gas projects in Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Utah. As of 2015, Granger’s energy projects produce a total of 55 MW and 14,200 scfm—the annual energy savings equate to powering nearly 82,000 homes. 


Helios Solar, LLC

Helios Solar LLC provides turnkey solutions for Utility, Commercial, and Residential Photovoltaic Installations. Our founding principles of Environment, Economics, and Engineering guide our practices with the goal of designing and constructing the most efficient, value driven solar installations possible.


Michigan Energy News

The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association hosted its annual Michigan Energy Fair in Mason last weekend, with focuses on community projects, the advantages of solar and Michigan’s political climate.

The Ann Arbor City Council has adopted a resolution to make the city a solar-ready community, with ambitious goals for on-site solar usage, Mlive reports.

Governor Rick Snyder spoke to the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s annual meeting in Detroit. Midwest Energy News has more on the story.

The Legislature’s summer break leaves the future of comprehensive energy legislation uncertain, reports a blog post from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Eastern Michigan University’s board of regents adopted a plan to invest $30.5 million in energy saving projects, including a combined heat and power system. The system will save the university $2.6 million a year, Mlive reports.

The Clinton County Planning and Zoning Board took almost seven hours of testimony on amendments to the county’s wind energy regulations, the Clinton County Leader reports.

The Ellington Township Planning Commission voted 4-1 on recommending stricter setback rules and noise regulations on wind turbines, Tuscola Today reports.

Attorney General Bill Schuette continues to press on with his legal challenge to the EPA’s mercury rule, despite SCOTUS’ refusal to issue a stay and Gov. Rick Snyder not supporting him, Crain’s reports.

Sol Electrica Renewable Energy, a start-up working from EIBC member, the GVSU Muskegon Innovation Hub, offering a behind the meter high efficiency gas turbine to power large energy consumers. MiBiz has more on the business and the technology, including quotes from Greg Northrup of EIBC member business, Sustainable Partners, LLC.


National Energy News
The DC Circuit Court of Appeals is delaying the schedule for a lawsuit on the EPA’s rule to limit carbon emissions from new coal-fired and natural gas power plants. This rule is different from the Clean Power Plan, which is also being challenged in court.   

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission upheld that electric cooperatives could purchase power from independent producers.

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) has high expectations for a ‘very progressive’ energy efficiency title coming out of the conference committee settling differences between the House and Senate versions of the comprehensive energy legislation, Morning Consult reports.

Elon Musk’s decision to merge Tesla Motors and Solar City could be an innovative approach to make them the “Apple of Clean Energy” or a solution to protect Musk’s personal investments, New York Times has more.

Former FERC chairman, John Wellinghof, is taking on a new role as SolarCity’s Chief Policy Officer, and his first order of business is trying to resolve net metering debates in state’s like Nevada, Utility Dive reports.

Electric Vehicles can offer services to the electric grid at a fraction of the cost, showing how Utilities can gain from EV growth, Utility Dive reports.

SolarCity and Nest are teaming up to support savings for customers using time of use rates, Utility Dive reports.

Michigan Energy Events
The U.S. Department of Energy, in partnership with a number of other organizations, is hosting a “Smart Solutions for the Upper Peninsula” conference on July 14 at Northern Michigan University’s University Center in Marquette. Additional information will be available soon. 

The 2016 Michigan Energy Providers Conference will take place on July 27-29 at Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa in Thompsonville. Michigan EIBC is a Gold sponsor for this event

National Events
Solar Power International is scheduled for September 12-15 in Las Vegas.
The Battery Show, collocated with the Critical Power Expo and Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo, will be held in Novi from September 13-15.

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.