- Newsletter (397)
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:
Senate Committee Advances Solar on Farms Bill, While Considering Changes to Other Clean Energy Legislation
The Michigan Senate Energy and Environment Committee on Sept. 14 voted 10-3 to recommend the passage of SB 277, a bill that would codify existing policy established in 2019 by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) to allow farmers to rent land for commercial solar operations and remain enrolled in the Farmland Preservation Program. That program, known as PA 116, offers certain tax benefits to landowners who preserve their land for agricultural uses.
The Committee also heard from Sens. Sam Singh and Erika Geiss about substitute versions of two of the key bills that make up the Senate’s “Clean Energy Future Plan”: SB 271, which would create a clean energy standard, and SB 273, which sets stronger targets for energy waste reduction standards.
The senators described that the substitute bills, which are expected to be the subject of hearings next week, will set a 60% renewable portfolio standard by 2032 and a 100% carbon-free standard by 2040. The substitute bill to SB 271 will also increase the rooftop solar cap, establish a low-income pilot community solar program and establish a storage target of 2500 MW by 2030. The substitute bill to SB 273 will increase the energy waste reduction standard for electricity to 1.5% and for natural gas to 1%. It will also allow for efficient electric appliances including air- and ground-source heat pumps.
EPA Report Finds That IRA Will Drive Down U.S. Emissions
A new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report projects that the Inflation Reduction Act will lower carbon dioxide emissions across the U.S. economy by 35% to 43% below 2005 levels by 2030.
“The IRA represents the largest commitment ever made by the federal government to invest in the decarbonization of the U.S. economy,” the report said. The EPA found that the IRA reduced emissions in all sectors: electricity, transportation, buildings and industry. Of those, the IRA was projected to have the biggest impact on the electricity sector: a 49% to 83% emissions reduction by 2030.
Source: U.S. EPA.
The report made its forecasts by combining several emissions models from a number of sources, like the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the National Energy Technology Laboratory and others, and comparing the projected emissions under a scenario that includes all federal and state policies including the IRA to the projected emissions under a counterfactual scenario that includes all policies except the IRA.
Another recent report, from Michigan EIBC and Michigan EIBC member 5 Lakes Energy that was prepared for Evergreen Action, identified the positive impact of the IRA on Michigan’s economy, and found that that impact, as well as emissions reductions, would be further magnified by the passage of additional state-level clean energy policies.
Michigan EIBC Is Hiring A Policy Fellow
Michigan EIBC and the Institute for Energy Innovation (IEI) are hiring a full-time policy fellow! The initial fellowship term will be one year with the potential for extension dependent on the candidate’s performance and availability of funding.
Anticipated tasks include:
- Policy research, especially focused on transportation electrification
- Development of regulatory arguments and writing of expert witness testimony
- Support for development of expanded mobility work, including background research
- Communication and collaboration with members of the advanced energy industry
- Support of mobility-specific initiatives, including research and report writing
Desired qualifications include:
- Policy, technical, or educational experience in mobility or transportation electrification
- Strong writing and research skills
- Graduate-level degree (preferred) in business, political science, sustainability, clean energy, environment, or related field or equivalent experience
- Experience communicating with business leaders and balancing the multiple interests
- Eagerness to step in to help with any task to support a small team
- Ability to communicate professionally with business leaders and partners
- Ability to balance multiple tasks at once
- Strong self-motivation and ability to take initiative
Tickets Closing Today for 11th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala in Detroit on Sept. 27
Michigan EIBC is excited to welcome our members, Michigan legislators and state officials, and the general public to our 11th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala on September 27th at The Eastern in Detroit. Gala is a wonderful opportunity to network with colleagues, policymakers, and industry experts, all while celebrating the individuals and businesses who succeeded in growing Michigan’s advanced energy sector.
Ticket sales are closing today, Sept. 15, at 3:00 pm EST! Get your tickets now while you still can by clicking here.
The keynote speaker will be Shalanda Baker, Director, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to her appointment, she was a Professor of Law, Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. She was the co-founder and co-director of the Initiative for Energy Justice, which provides technical law and policy support to communities on the front lines of climate change. Baker served as an Air Force officer prior to her honorable discharge pursuant to the then existing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and became a vocal advocate for repeal of the policy. She earned a B.S. in Political Science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a J.D. from Northeastern University, and L.L.M. from the University of Wisconsin.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!
The Watt Level (Sold Out)
Michigan Energy News
- Palisades nuclear plant owner Holtec International announces a long-term power purchase agreement with Wolverine Power Cooperative, potentially allowing the plant to reopen.
- High rates and power outages show the need for passing bills to create a clean energy standard, strengthen energy efficiency requirements and expand the authority of the MPSC, Michigan House Reps. Amos O’Neal and Laurie Pohutsky write in Bridge..
- Poor reliability and infrastructure and climate change impacts are hurting population growth in Michigan, according to a report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.
- Michigan EGLE and the regional administrator of the EPA join together to celebrate new electric school buses in Pellston, buses that were funded by the federal Clean School Bus Program.
- Michigan EGLE’s Water Resources Division has a draft Climate Change Implementation Plan that is trying to tackle the impacts of flooding and other severe weather events on Michigan’s infrastructure.
National Energy News
- “We have only scratched the surface in making the investments in transmission that will be necessary to keep pace with future energy needs,” Linda Apsey, president and CEO of Michigan EIBC member ITC Holdings Corp., writes.
- On average, solar projects trying to connect to the grid operated by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) face nearly two-year delays in reaching commercial operation.
- Increasing virtual power plant capacity from 80 GW to 160 GW by 2030 could reduce grid costs by about $10 billion a year, according to a U.S. Department of Energy report.
- Funding for energy efficiency rebates have become subject to political disagreement in Florida.
- Florida surpasses California and Texas for the most new solar generation capacity in the first half of 2023, according to the most recent U.S. Solar Market Insight report from Michigan EIBC trade organization member the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include in the email a specific end date for the job posting.
Advanced Energy United
Advanced Energy United (United) seeks an experienced, strategic and innovative Energy Regulatory Director with a focus on regulatory strategy and engagement to join Advanced Energy United’s team. The Director will work with other United team members to develop and implement multi-year strategies and campaigns designed to achieve policy successes at the state level that will expand markets for the advanced energy industry and accelerate the U.S. transition to 100% clean energy.
Working in close coordination with the regional Managing Director for our Central states, the Regulatory Policy Director will develop and execute a comprehensive regulatory engagement strategy at public utility commissions and other state agencies that covers the full scope of our clean energy and transportation priorities. This includes educating commissioners and staff, working with other stakeholders, and engaging in a range of proceedings, from investigatory to fully litigated. In addition, the Director will manage and mentor early career team members who will carry out the day-to-day state regulatory work.
Advanced Energy United is currently seeking a highly energetic, smart, self-starting Policy Principal with a background in regulatory engagement, issue advocacy, and coalition building to join United’s policy and campaign team in the West. The Principal will work collaboratively with United’s state teams to craft and execute creative policy campaigns that will achieve successful state regulatory action to accelerate the energy transition and expand markets for the advanced energy industry. Policy topics may include distributed energy resources, transmission and interconnection, resource planning, future of gas and building decarbonization, transportation electrification, western regional market formation, and utility business model reform. The Principal will also work under the direction of United’s western regulatory Policy Director to build out United’s regulatory presence and strengthen relationships with decision-makers in western states. Candidates will need to have the ability to travel to meet with United members, coalition allies and stakeholders, and public officials.
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 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
Tickets are available for the 11th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala on Sept. 27 at The Eastern in Detroit.
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.
Michigan EGLE is hiring a Climate Action Officer. This position will be responsible for evaluating policy and program options and implementation efficacy toward achieving the Office of Climate and Energy’s (OCE) mission and vision. Duties include researching climate policies and necessary data, gathering stakeholders’ and experts’ opinions and advice, and presenting Michigan’s best policy options for moving forward. The position will focus specifically on the implementation of the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant program. Find out more about this position and apply by clicking 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.