Newsletter: Solarize Michigan Nearing End of Program

This newsletter was originally published on October 11, 2016.

Solarize Michigan Nearing the End of its Program

Solarize Michigan, an initiative of Michigan EIBC’s sister organization, the Institute for Energy Innovation (IEI), will be coming to a close on October 31. The program’s goal from the beginning was to accelerate deployment of distributed solar power in Bay, Midland and Saginaw counties by making the investment simpler and more affordable. Solarize campaigns like these were started in 2010. By pre-selecting contractors and running community education programs, solarize initiatives work to get enough early adopters to prime the local market for solar installations.

After a rigorous RFP process that received dozens of inquiries and 10 robust proposals, three installers were chosen: Michigan Solar Solutions, Midland Solar Applications and the Green Panel. The program was formally launched on February 29, 2016. Throughout the month of March and April, program representatives held local workshops and gave presentations to local service and community groups.

The program broke ground on its first project in June, and since then have finalized no less than 13 projects, adding over 100 kW in new capacity. The program just concluded three ‘open driveways’ where residents got to see a neighbor’s installation themselves. With 20 days left, the campaign is hoping to get a few more final projects signed or finished to double the number of installations in the three counties from this programs start.

If you know a homeowner or business in Bay, Midland or Saginaw county who is interested, they can sign up here.


Fourth Annual Energy Innovators Gala is Less than a Month Away
Michigan EIBC is excited to celebrate our 4th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala on November 10 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. Reserve your ticket today.
Keynote Speaker: John J. Viera
John J. Viera is the Global Director, Sustainability and Vehicle Environmental Matters for Ford Motor Company, a position he has held since January 2007. Viera is responsible for developing global sustainable business plans and policies, interfacing and negotiating environmental regulations with global governmental bodies, reporting externally on the company’s environmental and social performance, and leading the company’s engagement and partnerships with non-government organizations (NGOs) and other key stakeholders.
Sponsor Now to Join the Award Committee 
Michigan EIBC’s premier annual event attracts a broad range of industry leaders from renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation, and the utility sector. Michigan State Legislators, Michigan Public Service Commission staff, and other key decision makers will also be in attendance.
All sponsorship levels include a reserved table at the event and participation in the awards committee to determine recipients for the awards. Become a sponsor today.
Current Sponsors

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New/Renewing Members


CLEAResult helps utilities, businesses and individuals make the wise use of energy a way of life. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with offices in more than 80 cities in the U.S. and Canada, CLEAResult designs, markets and implements energy programs around the globe. Our experienced energy experts tailor strategies to our clients’ specific needs and circumstances.

Four Elements Energy

Four Elements Energy designs and installs renewable energy systems in Michigan. We have recently completed the installation of the largest solar array in West Michigan for the Michigan Army Nation Guard at Fort Custer near Battle Creek, MI.


OU INC is a smartzone business incubator/ accelerator located on the campus of Oakland University. OU INC advances the economic strength of the region by transitioning industry and university innovations into commercial success with a focus on energy; information technology, and medical devices. It fosters a healthy environment for the growth of new start-up companies, and provides support for existing entities through its business development resources and through specific center locations within OU INC. Those centers include the Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) and the Energy Systems Acceleration and Integration Lab (ESAIL)


Michigan Energy News

Susan Sloan, vice president for state policy at the American Wind Energy Association, penned an opinion article in the Lansing State Journal about the benefits of increasing the state’s renewable portfolio standard.

Midwest states like Michigan are continuing to make investments in energy efficiency, despite political debate in state legislatures to continue energy mandates, Midwest Energy News reports.

A case study involving Byon Center Public Schools, Home Depot and Michigan EIBC member business Toggled highlight the advantages of energy efficient lighting, American City and County reports.

NextEra Energy Resources is moving forward with their Tuscola III Wind Energy Center in Almer, Ellington, and Fairgrove townships, Huron Daily Tribune reports.

The Huron County Planning Commission reviewed proposed changes to Sand Beach Township’s wind ordinance, setting noise limits, Huron Daily Tribune reports.

Consumers Energy will distribute 75 thousand LED bulbs through Michigan’s food banks under their ‘buy one, give one’ program, The Peninsula reports.

Doug Eblinger of the Michigan EIBC member business Newman Consulting Group wrote a report on the advantages of structural insulated panels.

Consumers Energy is launching their solar gardens with sites by Grand Valley State and Western Michigan University, Mlive reports

Several Michigan Republican Leaders are calling for an increase in renewable energy in an Oakland County Press opinion article, and stating that the legislature needs to take leadership in doing this.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy penned a blog post giving an overview of retail open access.

Michigan State University Chemist Milton Smith was awarded a $5 million grant from the DOE for renewable energy research, MSU Today reports.

The Advanced Energy Economy Institute with partners like IEI and the Clean Energy Trust are promoting the benefits of industrial energy efficiency, Midwest Energy News reports.

With the state’s renewable portfolio standard capped at 10 percent, Michigan’s major utilities are now ‘inching’ towards more renewable generation, Detroit Free Press reports.

Advancing Women in Energy is a new nonprofit working to creating networking and mentoring opportunities to get more women professionals in the energy space. Board members include Michigan EIBC President Liesl Eichler Clark.

National Energy News

The current composition of the DC Circuit as well as the oral arguments made previously are making proponents of the CPP optimistic, Utility Dive reports.

89 percent of Americans support increasing solar arrays, 84 percent support more wind farms, Grist reports.

These six charts highlight why advanced energy is disrupting the market already, GreenTech Media reports.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) are divided over extending federal tax cuts for the additional advanced energy sectors, Bloomberg reports.

2016 has had several policy wins for the solar energy, Solar Industry Mag reports.

LG Chem is joining the electric vehicle market, setting up a battery plant in Poland, Bloomberg reports.

Henrik Fisker is throwing his hat into the EV ring, Reuters reports.

Utility Dive has a feature on Maryland’s work to build utility models of the future.

Spanish researchers are looking at molten silicon for more efficient solar energy storage systems, Utility Dive reports.

Energy storage is preparing to break its records from 2015 already, Utility Dive reports.

Michigan Energy Events

The Transportation, Economics, Energy and the Environment Conference will be held Friday, October 28 in Ann Arbor. Sign up here.

The Accelerate Michigan competition is going to be on Thursday, November 3 in Detroit. Sign up here.

The 4th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala will be held Thursday, November 10 in East Lansing. Click here to get tickets.

National Energy Events

The US Dept. of Energy is hosting a webinar with the Western Area Power Administration, “Accessing Capital for Tribal Energy and Economic Development,” Wednesday, October 26, from 1-3 pm. Register here.

Additional Resources
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant cycle is now open, awarding grants for renewable energy projects in rural communities and agricultural areas. REAP is open to Agricultural Producers and Rural Small Businesses. Grants can be used for the purchase, installation, and construction of a Renewable Energy System or Energy Efficiency Improvement. Rural Small Business Projects must be located in a rural area with populations of 50,000 or less. The Agricultural Producer Projects can be located in rural or non-rural areas. REAP Grants provide a 25% cash reimbursement of the total system costs, with a maximum grant of $500,000 for Renewable Energy Systems and $250,000 for Energy Efficiency Improvements.
Applications for projects with Total Project Costs of $80,000 or less are accepted through Monday, October 31, 2016. Applications for projects with Total Project Costs greater than $80,000 are accepted through Monday, May 1, 2017.
The Application Templates and Forms are available at USDA Rural Development Offices or the National Website at: under Forms and 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.