Newsletter: Recap of 11th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala

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:

Recap of 11th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 11th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala in Detroit on Sept. 27! We hope everyone who attended enjoyed reconnecting with friends, meeting new people and celebrating the advanced energy industry.

The gala’s keynote speaker was Shalanda Baker, Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the U.S. Department of Energy. Director Baker was joined on stage by Carla Walker-Miller, CEO of Michigan EIBC member Walker-Miller Energy Services, for a conversation about what brought her to her current role ensuring that DOE programs equitably benefit communities that have historically been on the frontline of impacts from the fossil fuel industry and are currently on the frontline of climate change impacts.

Baker explained how she has been exposed to issues of energy justice since a young age, with some of her earliest memories being the smell of sulfur as a child when visiting her father in Port Arthur, Texas, an epicenter of the petrochemical industry. Without action from the federal government, many of these same communities that were disproportionately harmed by previous energy transitions could also shoulder an unfair burden in the ongoing energy transition, which is why the Justice40 executive order from the Biden administration is important, Director Baker explained. Justice40 sets a goal that 40% of the benefits of federal government programs related to clean energy go to communities most impacted by climate change, pollution, and environmental hazards.

With the recent Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act steering billions of dollars to the DOE, Baker had a big job and a “privilege of being one of the many architects of building the infrastructure for justice and equity” at the DOE. During her tenure at the department, she negotiated with the various DOE offices and was able to secure 146 different programs as Justice40 programs.

“Nearly every single program at the Department is now a Justice40 program. That means every single dollar in those programs has to go through an equity lens and an equity filter,” Baker said. 

Following the keynote, Michigan EIBC presented this year’s awards, which were voted on by Michigan EIBC members. The winners were:

Project of the Year: Advanced Battery Concepts for its Box-BE Energy Storage System

Business of the Year: Our Next Energy

Public Officials of the Year: City of Ann Arbor Sustainabili​​t​y and​​ Innovations Director​​ Dr. Missy Stults and Michigan House Rep. Jenn Hill (D-Marquette)

Michigan Energy Innovators Hall of Fame Inductee: Douglas Jester, managing partner of 5 Lakes Energy


Terawatt Level

Gigawatt Level

Megawatt Level

Kilowatt Level

The Watt Level


Bollinger Motors Holds Ride and Drive at Mcity Test Facility

Earlier this month, Michigan EIBC member Bollinger Motors held a Ride and Drive event for its all-electric Bollinger B4 truck at the Mcity Test Facility on the University of Michigan’s North Campus. Mcity is a proving ground for early-stage testing of connected and automated vehicles and technologies that hosts a full-scale town where participants were able to test the B4 Chassis Cab with a variety of different fleet upfits on all types of road surfaces. Check out some photos from the event:

Michigan Energy News

  • Hundreds of clean energy supporters rally in front of the Michigan Capitol this week.
  • A study on the feasibility of the city of Ann Arbor reaching 100% renewable energy by 2030 is released by Michigan EIBC member 5 Lakes Energy.
  • To get buy-in from local communities on permitting renewable energy projects, Michigan should “layer on state-backed incentives to increase the economic appeal of renewables, enticing communities to exceed their fair share,” University of Michigan Associate Professor Sarah Mills writes in Bridge.
  • Crain’s Detroit reports on the most important things to know about the ongoing debates in Lansing over clean energy legislation, including Michigan EIBC’s support for the elimination of the distributed generation cap.

National Energy News

  • The net-zero transition is more feasible than many models indicate, according to a report from the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change.
  • U.S. grid-scale energy storage installations hit a new quarterly record in the second quarter of 2023, according to a report from Wood Mackenzie and the Michigan EIBC trade organization member American Clean Power Association.
  • A new Berkeley Lab report explores why community wind has not been as successful of a model as community solar. 
  • California lawmakers pass a bill allowing the state to sign contracts with potential offshore wind projects.

Job Board

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 Please include in the email a specific end date for the job posting.

Advanced Energy United

Policy Director – Expanding Wholesale Markets, MISO and SPP. Location: Remote.

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

Director, Community Partnerships & Investment. Location: Chicago (Remote Possible).

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 and National Energy Events

The Institute for Energy Innovation (IEI) is holding its next Energy 101 Lunch & Learn about Solar + Storage on Oct. 18 at 12 pm at the Mackinac Room in the Anderson House Office Building in Lansing. Come learn more about what behind-the-meter solar and storage systems can do to protect Michiganders from outages and what policymakers can do to support their buildout. Please note this event is only for legislators, legislative staff administration officials and Michigan EIBC members. Register here.

Join Michigan EIBC member Foresight Management on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 10:00 am EST for this month’s Foresight Forum. Three energy procurement experts will discuss how to build a resilient and profitable approach to purchasing energy despite volatile seasons in the marketplace. This webinar will help you understand how to navigate dynamic regulatory environments, assess risk profiles, incorporate emerging technologies, and get ahead of the energy transition. Register here.


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.

The Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity (LEO) has two job openings: Director of Mobility Policy, who will be an advisor to LEO and serve as the lead policy staffer for the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, and Policy Director, who will cover a broad portfolio of issues across the entire department including workforce development, economic mobility and workplace rights and safety.

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.