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This newsletter was originally published on September 23, 2015.
Stand Up for Advanced Energy in Michigan!
The Michigan legislature has been discussing major energy statute changes for the last few months and bills are now in front of both the House Energy Committee and the Senate Energy committee. Business groups have continually said that revisions to Michigan’s energy framework should:
- Maintain affordability for ratepayers by maximizing low-cost energy efficiency and using fuel-less generation sources to hedge against volatility in fossil fuel prices;
- Align ratepayer interests with those of Michigan’s utilities by eliminating barriers to utilities integrating advanced energy solutions into their business models; and
- Spur innovation and drive down costs for ratepayers by ensuring meaningful market access for third party energy providers.
An approach that builds on the success of the current energy framework, including maintenance and expansion of the energy optimization and renewable energy programs is critical.
Michigan’s current laws have driven billions of dollars in new investment while generating hundreds of millions in savings to Michigan ratepayers. We should build on that success.
Rebalancing the landscape and allowing meaningful access for third-party energy providers would be a good first step in ensuring a state energy policy that is as beneficial to Michigan residents and businesses as it is to the incumbent energy providers.
Please add your business to this letter and make your voice heard in the Michigan discussion.
SAVE THE DATE: Michigan Energy Innovators Gala Set for November 10, 2015
Michigan EIBC is pleased to announce that the third annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala will take place on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing. This event is the opportunity for Michigan’s advanced energy industry to pay tribute to and recognize those businesses, policymakers, and others who are doing the most to build the industry in Michigan.
Contact Nicole Forward for more information or for sponsorship opportunities. You can also register here.
Michigan Senate Continues Taking Testimony on SB 437
The Michigan Senate Energy Committee continued taking testimony on SB 437, the companion bill to SB 438. The package shifts future energy planning decisions away from the successful 2008 laws that provided the energy certainty necessary for advanced energy projects, and shifts it towards a more nebulous and subjective integrated resource planning process run by the Public Service Commission.
SB 437, introduced by Senate Energy Chair Mike Nofs (R-Battle Creek) establishes this process. The legislation also deals with the energy choice market, While it keeps the 10 percent cap in place, it places new requirements for energy choice providers that some feel will eventually kill the market.
Most of the committee testimony focused on energy choice. DTE testified in support of the bill, making cases for both the IRP process and the energy choice regulations. ABATE, Inercom, the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum, Cliff Pellets testified about their concerns with the proposed changes to the choice market.
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy and the Michigan LCV testified on their concerns with the IRP process falling short of Michigan’s potential for energy waste reduction and new renewable generation. The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum also testified on the IRP process, stating that because we will still have a mostly regulated market after any legislation, that the legislature should have a role in shaping Michigan’s energy future. They expressed their concerns that the IRP process would vest to much power within the unelected public service commission.
Sen. Nofs stated his commitment to the process and desire to improve the bill, stating he was not even ready to support his bill.
CLEAResult is a leading provider of energy efficiency programs and services. Through proven strategies tailored to clients’ unique needs and market dynamics, the combined strength of experienced energy experts and technology-enabled service offerings help CLEAResult change the way people use energy for hundreds of utility and business partners around the globe. Founded in 2003, CLEAResult is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and has over 1,500 employees in more than 40 cities across the U.S. and Canada. The company is backed by General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm.
CLEAResult employs over 150 experienced staff members throughout Michigan, with offices located in East Lansing, Marquette and Saginaw. CLEAResult serves customers of over 20 utilities in both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan.
Michigan Energy News
MLive has an interview with Brian Wheeler of Consumers Energy about the future of renewables in Michigan.
Michigan EIBC member Mark Haggerty of Michigan Solar Solutions wrote an opinion piece on the economic benefits of Michigan complying with the Clean Power Plan.
Gongwer News reports that Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, the highest-ranking state official supporting the expansion of energy choice, has stated that he would support simply maintaining the choice market at 10% if that is what the committee favors. The current legislation maintains that cap but places new requirements on those alternative energy suppliers.
Rep. Gary Glenn has introduced legislation to expand energy choice beyond the 10 percent market to local school districts, colleges and universities, state and local government entities, profit and nonprofit hospitals and inpatient health-care facilities, those purchasing renewable energy and Michigan residential customers.
DTE Energy President Steve Kurmas wrote an opinion piece in the Detroit News about their concerns with energy choice.
MIRS has a piece on how House Energy Chair Aric Nesbitt received the most free meals and drinks from lobbyists this quarter. MIRS also reports that DTE energy spent almost $3500 in meals and drinks on legislators.
The Michigan Manufacturers Association wrote an opinion piece in the Detroit News on their opposition to the Clean Power Plan.
Michigan EIBC member Keith Winn of Catalyst Partners joined Renae Hesselink in writing an op-ed on the importance of energy efficiency. Both are founding members of the West Michigan Chapter of United States Green Buildings Council.
National Energy News
Senate Democrats introduced a The American Energy Innovation Act of 2015, which would major changes to grid modernization, creates a national energy efficiency standard and mandates deeper reductions in carbon emissions than the EPA Clean Power Plan.
Pope Francis spoke with the President, and to a joint session of Congress this week, highlighting the need to act on Climate Change.
Bloomberg reports that companies like Tesla are driving up the demand for cobalt, a chemical element used in batteries, and mining companies are racing to become cobalt’s top producer.
Utility Dive reports that the Tesla Gigafactory could cut battery costs by 50%
As California is expected to reach their statewide net metering cap, installers are asking for an interim policy, Utility Dive reports.
NRG Energy has announced it will split it’s renewable energy business away from its conventional.
Upcoming Michigan Energy Events
The Annual UP Energy Summit will take place Wednesday, September 30 in Marquette. Michigan EIBC is hosting a post-Summit UP Networking Reception that day from 4:00-6:00 at the Landmark Inn in Marquette. (Note new date!) The reception, which will feature a policy update and a look at innovation and clean tech in the UP, is free for Michigan EIBC members and $25 for non-members.
The October Michigan Energy Forum meeting will take place Thursday, October 1 at Ann Arbor SPARK. The theme for the October meeting is Waste-to-Energy.
Michigan EIBC will be hosting their next Detroit Area Advanced Energy Business Networking Event, October 9 at NextEnergy. The theme will be The Future of the Grid. The event is free for Michigan EIBC members and $25 for non-members.
Michigan EIBC will be hosting their next West Michigan Advanced Energy Business Networking Event on Thursday, October 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event is free for Michigan EIBC members and $25 for non-members. Register here.
The 2015 Michigan Advanced Lighting Conference, featuring the Michigan Solid State Lighting Association Annual Symposium, will take place on Wednesday, October 29 in Lansing.
SAVE THE DATE: The 3rd Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala will be held Tuesday,November 10 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. Individual tickets can be purchased here. Contact Nicole Forward for more information on table purchases and other sponsorship opportunities.
Upcoming National Energy Events
Fortune’s ’Brainstorm E: Where Energy, Technology, and Sustainability Meet’ will take place September 28-29 in Austin.
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.
SolarPermit.org 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.