Newsletter: Picking up the PACE in Michigan

This newsletter was originally published on February 19, 2016.

Picking up the PACE in Michigan

Several first-of-their kind projects in recent weeks have highlighted Michigan as an innovation hub in utilizing property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy upgrades. Last month, a 32-unit multifamily housing unit in Greenville became the first project in the country to have PACE financing approved under the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development loan program for affordable housing. That project includes upgrades to boilers and mechanical controls, LED lighting inside and outside, Energy Star appliances, low-flow water fixtures and a 20 kW solar photovoltaic system. An initial audit predicts a 40 percent reduction in electricity and natural gas consumption and a 29 percent reduction in water use. One of six planned projects by PK Housing & Management Company, project partners also included Michigan EIBC member Lean and Green Michigan and Texas-based Petros Partners, which is providing the balance of the financing.

In addition, Powers Distributing of Orion Township became the first project in Michigan to refinance through PACE earlier this month, and the first beer distributer in the state to utilize the financing tool. Lean and Green Michigan also played a critical role in structuring that deal. These innovative deals follow the completion of a project last year to have the Michigan Agency for Energy to become the first state energy agency in the country to utilize PACE financing for a series of energy upgrades.

Finally, two additional Michigan counties are taking steps towards joining 18 other Michigan counties who have already adopted PACE ordinances. Earlier this month, a group of county leaders and interested citizens in Midland County began discussing of establishing a PACE district, while MiBiz reports that momentum may be building in Kent County – home of Grand Rapids – to establish a PACE district there as well.


SAVE THE DATE: The 4th Annual Michigan EIBC Members Meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 4 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing. Additional information on speakers, sponsorship opportunities, and registration will be available soon. Note that this event has been rescheduled.


New/Renewing Members

APEX Clean Energy

Apex Clean Energy is an independent renewable energy company focused on developing utility-scale generation facilities. Based in Charlottesville, Virginia, Apex is building one of the nation’s largest, most diversified portfolios of renewable energy resources, capable of producing over 12,000 MW of clean energy. The company is currently exploring the feasibility of constructing more than 500 MW of generation in Michigan.


Chart House Energy

Chart House Energy is an independent power producer providing discounted, emission-free electricity to governmental, commercial and private customers, through developing, owning and operating sustainable clean on-site energy generation systems, an alternative to fossil-fuel systems, thus creating value to the consumers and the environment. Distributed sustainable power generation stabilize grid power, reduce peak power demand and reduce line losses of remote generation facilities.


Commonwealth Associates

Profiled among the EC&M Magazine 2015 Top 10 Electrical Design Firms in the nation, Commonwealth Associates, Inc. is committed to influencing and shaping the secure energy future. We do this by providing unique, sustainable, and mutually beneficial solutions to our valued partners, which include: utilities, independent power producers, municipalities, industrial clients, and some of the nation’s leading academic, research, and healthcare facilities. We bring thought leadership to the national committees setting tomorrow’s electric utility standards today. Let us help you successfully plan and construct your power generation and delivery project with our full range of consulting and engineering services. We are proudly 100% employee owned and managed.

Specialties: Owner’s Engineering, Program Management, Power Generation & Energy Services, Substation Engineering, Transmission & Distribution Line Engineering, Electrical Systems Studies, Land & Right of Way Services, Environmental & Permitting Services, Document Management


Geronimo Energy

Geronimo Energy is a top North American renewable energy development company based in Minneapolis, MN. Geronimo provides renewable energy development solutions for utilities, corporations and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) looking to harness renewable energy for business growth. With expertise in wind and solar energy development, Geronimo’s resume boasts over 1,500 megawatts of U.S. wind and solar energy projects that are either operational or will be under construction by the end of 2017. In addition, Geronimo’s near term development pipeline has an aggregate nameplate capacity exceeding 2,000 megawatts of clean energy. Geronimo was founded with deep roots in agriculture and an understanding and respect for farming practices. As landowner advocates, the Geronimo development team is dedicated to improving the productivity of our landowners’ properties by introducing our host communities to the benefits of renewable energy.


Kent County Department of Public Works

The Kent County Department of Public Works acting through the Board of Public Works is an enterprise fund established by the Board of Commissioners to provide solid waste management services and water and sewer system construction, inspection, and maintenance under contract with some local units of government. The Department of Public Works manages a landfill with a co-located gas-to-energy facility, transfer station, recycling and education center and a waste-to-energy facility in addition to a household hazardous waste and an unwanted pharmaceutical collection program. The Department of Public Works is committed to a fully integrated solid waste management system. This system includes: waste reduction, reuse and recycling, expanded education in resource recovery, incineration with electricity production and landfilling. Through its operations, the Department of Public Works help protect the health and welfare of its residents and the environment.   



McNaughton-McKay is a full-line electrical distributor of products ranging from pipe and wire to complex automation control systems for everyone from small electrical contractors to large-scale manufacturers. With our professional sales people and engineers, we provide you with services and solutions to solve your problems. Our relationships aren’t just about selling products; our focus is on long-term value that contributes to the success and profitability of our customers.

We lead the way in the distribution of electrical and automation products for industrial and commercial markets. Our comprehensive solutions for manufacturers help eliminate risk and waste while improving productivity and cycle-time. These offerings aid in improving quality and compliance, increasing yields, and automating complex processes. Our multitude of products and services help commercial construction customers save time, resources and overall job costs. Finally, we work to be good stewards of our environment with renewable energy products and solutions. With a focus on solar energy, we strive to provide the highest quality energy efficient products for new construction and energy upgrade projects. These products have some of the best warranties in the industry.


Walker-Miller Energy Services

Walker-Miller Energy Services is a Detroit-based company that promotes innovative and cost-effective strategies to help individuals and companies meet the demand of the ever-changing energy landscape. Our energy efficiency and sustainable technologies improve infrastructure while also promoting renewable and sustainable technologies. We are a client-focused company that leverages our significant experience and knowledge on behalf of our customers. Serving a wide variety of constituencies – from home owners to manufacturers to large-scale utility companies

Our management team consists of former energy industry managers, professionals and consultants with decades of experience.


Woodward Energy

Woodward Energy Solutions develops and installs turnkey LED lighting systems for commercial, industrial, and municipal clients. By facilitating the sale, procurement, and installation of LED lighting systems, we offer our clients a seamless process for integrating LED technology into their facility, whether through retrofitting current lighting infrastructure, installing an entirely new LED lighting system, or bringing LED lighting to a new construction project.  We offer our clients a simple, straight forward process for realizing the dramatically smaller electricity bills, reduced maintenance costs, and improved workspaces that LEDs offer facilities of all kinds.


Michigan Energy News

A new report from the University of Michigan articulates 12 principles to ensure that grid integration of energy storage systems are done in a sustainable manner. The report – which was co-authored by Institute for Energy Board Member Levi Thompson – focuses on the need to ensure that energy storage systems are being used to enhance the overall sustainability of the grid.

Four Michigan companies are among the 14 finalists vying for $1 million in investment capital from the Clean Energy Trust.

Consumers Energy filed a 66 page report with the Michigan Public Service Commission about inaccurate meter readings.

Greg McNeilly of the Michigan Freedom Fund wrote an opinion piece in the Detroit News arguing for greater retail open access.

DTE Energy’s earnings slid from $905 million in 2014 to $727 million in 2015.


National Energy News

Susan Sloan of the American Wind Energy Association wrote an opinion article in the Hill commending the 17 governors signing on the New Energy Future Accord, highlighting the advantages of wind. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was among the bi-partisan group of governors to sign on to the Accord.

Huffington Post has a piece on Apple issuing $1.5 billion in green bonds to finance global operations.

The Boston Business Journal has a story about a new report talking about the potential of big-box stories utilizing rooftop solar.

Utility Dive has a similar piece, talking about how the extension of the PTC is going to keep the industry booming despite SCOTUS’ action.

Solar Industry News reports that Panasonic is releasing two new PV modules.

Utility Dive has an opinion piece about the true value of solar.

ACORE released a report about increasing capital flows to renewable energy in Ohio.


Michigan Events

The annual IPU Michigan Forum on Economic Regulatory Policy will take place Friday, February 26 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing.

SPECIAL MICHIGAN EIBC MEMBERS-ONLY EVENT: Michigan EIBC Members are invited to a special tour of Suniva’s solar manufacturing facility in Saginaw. The tour will take place on Monday, March 14, from 1:30 to 2:30 PM. Michigan EIBC members can register here.

SAVE THE DATE: The 4th Annual Michigan EIBC Members Meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 4 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing. Additional information on speakers, sponsorship opportunities, and registration will be available soon. Note that this event has been rescheduled.


National Events

The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) will be having a webinar on renewable asset management on Wednesday, February 24. Register here.

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.