Newsletter: Valerie Brader Starts as Director for new Michigan Agency for Energy

This newsletter was originally published on May 18, 2015.

Valerie Brader Starts as Director for new Michigan Agency for Energy

Last Monday, Valerie Brader assumed her role as the director of the newly formed Michigan Agency for Energy. The agency was established earlier this year by an Executive Order. Brader has been Governor Snyder’s top energy policy advisor since 2011, and this appointment to head the new Agency for Energy is the latest expansion of her role overseeing state energy policy.

With an active energy discussion in Lansing, Brader reiterated the Governor’s goals to have affordable, reliable and environmentally-protective energy.

The Michigan Agency for Energy brings together the Air Policy director and the Retired Engineers Technical Assistance Program from the Department of Environmental Quality; the Michigan Energy Office from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; and the Michigan Public Service Commission, which will continue to operate autonomously from the Agency.


Make Your Plans: Michigan Renewable Energy Fair Just a Month Away

As we reach the Memorial Day weekend and look to June, the Michigan Renewable Energy Fair is now just weeks away. The event, held again this year at the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason, celebrates Energy Independence, including the advantages of solar energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and a range of other solutions driven by rapidly declining costs and innovations in technology.

Michigan EIBC is proud to partner with our friends at the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association in promoting the 2015 Michigan Renewable Energy Fair. Now in its 15th year, the Michigan Renewable Energy Fair is not a trade show. Instead, the fair combines a fun atmosphere with hands-on activities and small size workshops where attendees can ask questions to engaging speakers.

The 2015 Michigan Renewable Energy Fair takes place June 27-27. We hope to see you there!


Legislature Considers Electric Connection Between Lower and Upper Peninsulas

The Michigan House Energy Committee took testimony this week on HB 4575, a bill that would establish a board to accept bids for connecting Michigan’s two peninsulas via electric transmission. The bill and its companion in the Senate seek to unite the two peninsulas into one resource adequacy zone within the MISO footprint, and were introduced in response to Governor Snyder’s call for better electric connectivity between the Lower Peninsula and the UP.

Proponents of the legislation, including Michigan EIBC member ITC, argue that connecting the two peninsulas would better facilitate the construction for new generation, because it would put the entire state into one wholesale market.


Michigan EIBC Adds New Members

Newman Consulting Group

Newman Consulting Group (NCG), a Lean and Green Michigan and Rebuild Michigan® Partner, a DTE Energy and Michigan Saves Trade Ally, and an EPA Energy Star® Partner, works with architects, engineers, building owners and contractors in Michigan and throughout the world to design and build more energy-efficient buildings to LEED®, Energy Star® and other sustainable guidelines. NCG also helps commercial and industrial building owners save money and reduce negative impacts on the environment. Through energy audits and retrofitting existing buildings NCG helps buildings use less energy – and save money – while maintaining or improving the indoor air quality and enhancing the health, comfort and productivity of the building occupants. Services include: • LEED® Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) • Energy Audits – Level I, Level II and Level III • Energy Star® Certification • Re-Commissioning and Retro-Commissioning • Tax Deductions and Credits • Cost Recovery/Tax Benefits • Project Management • Design Assistance • Engineering Reports • PACE Project Management (Property Assessed Clean Energy)


TraverseCONNECT is an enterprise that includes the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, Venture North Funding and Development (EDO), and an entrepreneurial development division. It operates locally, regionally, and statewide to grow business and build community.


Michigan Energy News in Brief

  • Four Elements Energy, a Michigan EIBC member company, has installed more than 700 solar panels at Fort Custer Training Center in Augusta
  • The Thumb Electric Cooperative of Michigan is getting a $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to deploy smart meters. The grant is part of USDA’s Rural Energy Assistance Program.


National Energy News

  • The world’s largest solar producer, China’s JA Solar, announced a large drop in profits in the first quarter, but expect stronger demands in China and North America in the second half of the year.
  • Goldman-Sachs has downgraded the oil sector out look from “neutral” to “cautious,” telling investors that increased U.S. shale efficiency and growing production from OPEC will more than meet demand.
  • A new report from the US Department of Energy shows wind energy continues to grow in all 50 states.
  • The American Bird Conservancy issued a report arguing that more than 30,000 of current U.S. wind turbines – and more than half of the turbines currently in the development process – are in areas of special significance to birds.
  • Advanced energy and other “green economy” fields are creating a growing number of jobs being filled by recent college graduates, according to a new blog post from the Huffington post.
  • Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Representative Tom Reed (R-NY) are preparing to reintroduce the Power Resiliency and Efficiency (POWER) Act, which – like similar legislation introduced in the last Congress – would improve the federal tax incentive for industrial energy efficiency. If your business is interested in being listed as a supporter of this legislation, please contact Jamie Scripps at


Upcoming Michigan Energy Events
The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association’s annual Michigan Energy Fair will be held this year on June 26-27, 2015 at the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason.

Save the date: Michigan EIBC is hosting an Ann Arbor networking lunch on Friday, August 7 at Sakti3. Additional details and registration will be available shortly. The event is free for Michigan EIBC members, $25 for non-members.


Upcoming National Energy Events

Advanced Energy Economy Institute is hosting a webinar, “Not Taking ‘No’ For An Answer: How Microsoft and Walmart Overcame Barriers and Got the Renewable Energy They Wanted” on May 28, 2015 at 9 a.m. PT / 12 pm ET.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy (ACEEE) is hosting its annual Energy Efficiency Finance Forum on May 30-June 2 in San Francisco.

The 12th Annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum – Wall Street is taking place June 24-25 in New York. Fortune’s ’Brainstorm E: Where Energy, Technology, and Sustainability Meet’ will take place September 28-29 in Austin.