- Newsletter (328)
This newsletter was originally published on April 28, 2017.
It’s Official: Michigan’s New Energy Laws Are Now in Effect
The energy legislation that was signed into law in December officially took effect last week. The legislation, which follows a growing trend toward advanced energy in Michigan, increases the renewable energy standard to 15% by 2021, expands energy efficiency opportunities, initiates a new integrated resource planning process, changes net energy metering to distributed generation (and requires the development of a new tariff for customers with distributed generation systems), modifies retail open access, requires utilities to offer green power pricing programs, calls on the Michigan Public Service Commission to study performance-based regulation, and authorizes investor-owned utilities to offer on-bill financing, among other changes.
“Rapidly scaling markets, growth of corporate demand for advanced energy, and continued declines in cost have combined to move ‘alternative’ energy firmly into the mainstream,” said Michigan EIBC President Liesl Eichler Clark. “Here in Michigan, the passage of legislation that boosts the renewable energy standard and better aligns utility business models with strategies to reduce energy waste sends a strong signal to the national advanced energy industry that Michigan is open for business.”
Governor Snyder Signs Performance Contracting Legislation for Schools
Governor Rick Snyder yesterday signed HB 4080, legislation that expands performance contracting options for schools. The legislation, which was sponsored by Rep. Beth Griffin (R-Mattawan), also authorizes schools to use tax-exempt lease purchase agreements to finance energy upgrades.
Michigan EIBC strongly supports efforts to expand performance contracting in Michigan, and supported this legislation as it made its way through the legislative process. Congratulations to Rep. Griffin on her first Public Act!
Michigan EIBC’s 5th Annual Member Meeting Brings Focus on Policy, Markets, Technology
Michigan EIBC hosted their 5th Annual Member Meeting on Wednesday, April 26, in East Lansing. This event brought together advanced energy leaders in Michigan to discuss technological innovations, community advancements, and energy policy changes.
The day opened with a conversation between Michigan EIBC President Liesl Eichler Clark and Michigan Public Service Commission Chairman Sally Talberg and DTE Electric President Trevor Lauer on the technology that is changing the way we use and store electricity.
Next were breakout panels on corporate advanced energy procurement – moderated by MPSC Commissioner Norm Saari, with panelists Peter Rienks from Inovateus Solar, Rob Threlkeld from GM, and Teri VanSumeren from Consumers Energy – and advanced lighting – moderated by MPSC Commissioner Rachael Eubanks, with panelists Steve Bratic of Bratic Enterprises, Paul Brown from CLEAResult, Michigan EIBC Board Member Dave Simon from toggled and Michigan EIBC Board Member Rachel Tronstein of Gardner-White Furniture.
What followed was a discussion between Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss and Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers on the ways their cities were leading the way in advanced energy. This conversation highlighted the ways each of these cities made and kept commitments to move toward advanced energy and energy efficiency.
During lunch, Brian Pageau of Midwest Energy Group interviewed the Executive Director of Michigan Agency for Energy, Valerie Brader, about the new state energy policies and the impact they would have on local businesses. What made Michigan’s new energy legislation different from policies in other states, Brader said, was that Michigan tied utility integrated resource planning to their ability to recover costs, thus strongly motivating utilities to follow the elements of their plans and allowing the law to change with the prices of different energy resources in the future rather than attempting to predict what would happen down the road. “Michigan is going to control its own energy future,” said Brader, who played a significant role in guiding the direction of the legislation.
After lunch were several more breakout sessions on advanced transportation; grid resiliency; how projects would work under the new Renewable Portfolio Standards; and how combined-heat-and-power, demand response, and loan management are reshaping the state’s focus on energy waste reduction. The panel on transportation was moderated by Eric Shreffler of MEDC and consisted of panelists Kevin Miller of ChargePoint, Glenn Stevens of MICHauto, and Ed Straub of American Center for Mobility. The panel on grid resiliency was moderated by Jean Redfield of NextEnergy and consisted of panelists Dalia El Tawy of Siemens, Andy Haun of Schneider Electric, and Kiran Kumaraswamy of AES Energy Storage. The panel on the new Renewable Portfolio Standards was moderated by Michigan EIBC Board Member Simon Whitelocke of ITC and panelists included Zach Anderson of Wolverine Power, Patrick Bowland of MPPA, and Dave Harwood of DTE Energy. The panel on energy efficiency was moderated by Pat Poli from the Michigan Public Service Commission, and the panelists were Katie Guerry of EnerNOC, Greg Northrup of Sustainable Partners, and Kevin O’Connell of Michigan CAT.
The day closed with Representative Sam Singh, House Democratic Floor Leader and representative of Michigan’s 69th State House District, talking up the future of energy legislation in Michigan. Representative Singh highlighted both the successes and shortcomings of the new energy legislation and expressed a desire to push for higher standards.
At the meeting, Michigan EIBC Members also elected Kevin O’Connell, Electric Power Commercial Business Manager for Michigan CAT and Carla Walker-Miller, President and CEO of Walker-Miller Energy Services as new Board members, and reappointed Amy Butler, Executive Director of OU INC; Andy Levin, Founder and Managing Partner of Levin Energy Partners; Jim Monterusso, General Manager of Veolia Energy; and Brian Pageau, President of Midwest Energy Group.
Michigan EIBC would like to thank this year’s sponsors who made this conference a success:
Mark Your Calendars: Tour Covanta Kent with EIBC
The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council invites members to attend our upcoming Michigan Energy Forum networking meeting and tour at Covanta Kent on May 10 in Grand Rapids. This energy-from-waste facility has been in operation for approximately 27 years. Attendees will watch a brief overview video created by Kent County about the waste system, followed by a tour of the facility, including stops at the tipping floor/refuse pit and the control room. Environmental Specialist Terry Madden will conduct the tour along with Business Manager Matt Marler.
RSVP today to join us for this exciting event!
Michigan Energy Options (MEO) is a nonprofit that has been in business since 1978. From our offices in East Lansing and Marquette, we pursue daily our mission of guiding communities toward being more sustainable and resilient through the adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy. We do this by providing our unbiased expertise, research and our results-driven programs, all the while working collaboratively with local governments, businesses and community leaders. Since 2008, MEO’s work across the state has saved more than 200 million kilowatt hours, which translates into more than 426 million pounds of greenhouse gases being eliminated. We’ve reached nearly two million people, 6,000 businesses and 50 municipalities with our projects and programs in all 83 counties in Michigan. With $14 million of funding since 2008, we have been able to leverage more than $77 million of private sector investment into energy efficiency upgrades of buildings. In 2012, our own Lower Peninsula Office in East Lansing earned LEED Platinum–the highest rating possible–by the U.S. Green Building Council. Michigan Energy Options’ precursor was Urban Options, a pioneering energy nonprofit in the state. In 2005 we opened the first energy nonprofit in the Upper Peninsula.
Michigan Energy News
- The Michigan Strategic Fund has awarded another $15 million for construction of the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti.
- Michigan remains number 1 in the Midwest in electric vehicle adaptation, but a debate over charging stations is impeding growth.
- A panel of clean energy advocates in Michigan, including Michigan EIBC President Liesl Eichler Clark, say the industry trends favor continued advanced energy development.
- Facilities across Michigan were awarded for their efforts to increase energy efficiency.
- The Huron Renewable Energy Center unveiled DTE’s Discovery Center last week.
- Michigan ranks second in the Midwest in per-capita solar jobs
- Gov. Snyder honored Michigan utility linemen for their work to restore power after wide-spread outages last month. At the same time, the utility companies are facing questions from state lawmakers and regulators over their handling of outages.
- A report that the Trump administration plans to close the EPA’s Region 5 office in Chicago sparked bipartisan fury in Michigan, although an EPA spokesperson called the report meritless
National Energy News
- Department of Energy appointee Travis Fisher, an advanced energy skeptic, will lead the department’s study on the impact of regulation on traditional energy.
- FEC filings reveal that coal, oil and gas companies contributed at least $10 million to President Trump.
- EIBC Member Company CLEAResult, a leader in designing and implementing technology-enabled energy efficiency programs for utilities, is one of eight organizations being recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy, on behalf of the Better Buildings Alliance’s Advanced Rooftop Unit Campaign. CLEAResult won two awards: Most Innovative Rooftop Unit Efficiency Program by a Supporting Partner and Highest Number of Advanced Rooftop Unit Control Retrofits Through an Efficiency Program.
- Florida lawmakers voted to make advanced energy equipment on commercial buildings tax-exempt.
- An Ohio town moved forward with purchasing land for a 1.5-megawatt solar project.
- Nevada’s largest electric utility completed a 100-megawatt solar project outside Las Vegas.
- A West Virginia firm is crowdfunding residential solar installations by providing free installations and having customers donate their energy rebates towards solar panels and installations for other buildings.
- More and more Illinois farmers are being asked to lease their land for solar projects.
- A North Carolina solar farm being built by Starbucks is nearing completion.
- Oklahoma’s governor signed legislation to end a tax credit for wind power.
- A City Council in Ohio passes a resolution in support of a planned offshore wind project in Lake Erie.
- North Carolina Republicans sponsored a bill to streamline wind energy development.
- California-based cloud computing company Salesforce reached net zero carbon emissions 33 years ahead of schedule.
- After a drop in production, ethanol is trading at a four-month high in Chicago.
- Lima, Ohio, is seeking state grant funding to find the right alternative fuels for city buses and trucks.
- Chicago was the only city in the Midwest selected to receive money under a federal consent decree as a result of Volkswagen’s cheating on emissions tests; advocates were hoping for more funds to be directed to the Midwest.
- Tesla’s stock is soaring because of the company’s bet on batteries.
- California has announced a $2.3 million pilot project to derive energy from roadway vibrations.
- A California utility launched hybrid battery and gas turbine systems to produce and store electricity for use during peak critical demand.
- The largest investor-owned utility in Washington launched the first subscriber-style green tariff program for large purchasers.
- Boulder, Colorado, voted to proceed with an effort to create a city-owned electric utility to replace Xcel Energy.
- Ameren Illinois is investing in grid reliability and lowering rates.
- Arizona Public Service is testing a $2 million battery system to stabilize supply on cloudy days.
- Participants in a Brooklyn, New York, microgrid are buying and selling renewable energy over a peer-to-peer network using blockchain, the same technology behind Bitcoin.
Michigan Energy Events
The 2017 Energy Efficiency Conference and Exhibition, hosted by DTE Energy and the Engineering Society of Detroit, will take place May 9 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. The conference is now accepting proposals for presentations on topics related to energy efficiency.
The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council’s Michigan Energy Forum is scheduled for May 10 in Grand Rapids. This networking meeting will consist of a tour of Covanta Kent, an energy-from-waste facility has been in operation for approximately 27 years. Attendees will watch a brief overview video created by Kent County about the waste system, followed by a tour of the facility, including stops at the tipping floor/refuse pit and the control room. Environmental Specialist Terry Madden will conduct the tour along with Business Manager Matt Marler. For more information or to RSVP, click here.
National Energy Events
GTM’s annual Solar Summit is scheduled for May 16-18, and GTM is offering 15% off tickets with the code MWENERGY15.
The annual AWEA Windpower Conference is taking place May 22-25 in Anaheim, CA. The marquee event for the US wind industry returns with top-tier speakers, world-class education, cutting edge technology, and premium marketing.
TRC is hosting a two-day conference on Developing Solar on Landfills and Brownfields on June 12-13 in Chicago. The event brings together landowners, who will learn about how to turn their brownfield liabilities into clean energy assets, while solar developers will learn how to choose and develop on brownfields.
Greentech Media’s Grid Edge World Forum 2017 will be held in San Jose, CA on June 27-29. As the only conference exclusively focused on emerging distributed energy system, this event highlights the trends, opportunities, and innovation happening at the grid edge.
New energy laws: A web page from the Michigan Public Service Commission provides details on the laws, which took effect on April 20. For more information, or to sign up for notifications, visit michigan.gov/energylegislation.
The Michigan Energy Office (MEO), in partnership with the States of Tennessee, Georgia, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, the National Association of State Energy Officials, and The Climate Registry, is inviting interested parties to comment on the National Energy Efficiency Registry (NEER) Principles & Operating Rules, which are open for public comment until May 31, 2017. Information on the NEER can be found at NEERegistry.org, as well as a FAQ document and description of sample NEER user scenarios. The NEER is intended to serve as a central repository for tracking and validating energy efficiency initiatives and as a means for documenting compliance with existing and future state and federal environmental regulations. The public comment period provides Michigan stakeholders the opportunity to inform NEER’s development to ensure Michigan interests are represented. How to Submit Comments: Reviewers are encouraged to access and provide feedback on the Draft NEER Principles and Operating Rules by logging into the web-based Collaborase platform or offline here. For commenters who prefer to submit comments directly, a public comment template has also been provided here. Please submit comments either in Collaborase or by attaching your completed public comment template via email to Emily Duff.