Op-ed on Rooftop Solar, Building Energy Conservation Codes, Intern Update and More

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:

Laura Sherman on DG Cap in Lansing State Journal

This Friday the Lansing State Journal published an op-ed from Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman about the continuing effort to remove the cap on distributed generation. Both DTE and Consumers Energy portray themselves as champions of renewable energy, but that image is at odds with “the way both companies have opposed the ability of Michigan residents and businesses to choose to install solar panels,” Sherman writes.

Read the full op-ed

Michigan is Updating Building Energy Conservation Codes 

 Michigan will soon be adopting a new model building energy conservation code for the first time in six years. The Bureau of Construction Codes, part of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), has requested a rulemaking to update the energy codes for buildings. The code is currently based on the 2015 version of the International Energy Conservation Code. LARA will be reviewing the 2021 model code—estimated to be 10% more efficient than the 2018 version—to determine a set of recommendations. Michigan EIBC is among stakeholders who will be sending proposed amendments of the commercial and residential construction codes to regulators by the July 16th deadline.

In addition to supporting increased energy efficiency, Michigan EIBC’s proposed amendments deal with requirements that different types of new buildings have the infrastructure to support solar panels, storage and EVs. The amendments would, for example, ensure that many new homes have an unobstructed “solar-ready” zone on the roof and that new buildings have a certain number of parking spaces that are EV-ready or EV-capable.

Michigan EIBC members will have received an email about the opportunity to review draft amendments. Please send us any concerns, comments or suggestions regarding the draft amendments by Wednesday, July 14 at 5 pm EST. 

Michigan EIBC Interns: Where Are They Now?

 Former Michigan EIBC interns are doing exciting things in the world of advanced energy. Here is an update on some of our recent interns and what they are up to now (along with links to our original profiles of them when they were interns, if available).

Phillip Jovanovski is now an associate regulatory analyst at Michigan EIBC member ITC Holdings Corp, where he researches and analyzes transmission policy development and regulatory matters.

Han Nguyen will start in September as an energy consulting associate at PowerAdvocate, an energy intelligence company in Boston. 

Toby Valentino is an assistant development manager at Michigan EIBC member Ranger Power in Chicago. Toby supports project development activities across the Ranger Power portfolio.

Joy Yakie is environmental justice associate at the Acadia Center. She helps the Acadia Center to incorporate and promote environmental justice goals and values in the organization’s programs, outreach and external engagement.

Congratulations to all of our former interns—we were so lucky to work with these wonderful individuals!  

Join Us In-Person for the 9th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala on Sept. 14

 We’re excited to network in-person and celebrate individuals and businesses who have worked to grow Michigan’s advanced energy sector in 2021. Advanced energy business leaders & experts, legislators, regulators, state government officials, and other key decision-makers will be in attendance. Join the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council as we celebrate on September 14th, 2021 at The Eastern, Detroit, Mich. 

Keynote speaker and additional details/ticket sales to come in the following weeks.  

We also invite you to become a sponsor of this premier annual event. Sponsors will benefit from networking with a broad range of industry leaders from renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation, and the utility sector. Sponsorship opportunities and benefits can be found here

Please contact Brianna Gerard, Director of Membership & Events, to reserve your sponsorship spot: brianna@mieibc.org.

Event Sponsors

Gigawatt Level

Megawatt Level

Kilowatt Level

The Watt Level

New Member

Potomac Law Group

Potomac Law Group’s energy practice encompasses significant experience in conventional, alternative and renewable energy sources. PLG attorneys have been involved in energy legal issues for more than 35 years and have both the 40,000 foot perspective and the detailed knowledge of this highly-regulated industry to help you meet their clients energy goals in the new energy marketplace.  

Michigan Energy News

  • Bills to open Michigan up to community solar projects represent a rare bipartisan moment, bill sponsors Reps. Michele Hoitenga and Rachel Hood write.
  • Michigan has the most potential for offshore wind generation of any Great Lakes state, according to a new study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
  • Stakeholder groups view Consumers Energy’s IRP as “complicated” and are reserving full support given the potential rate impact and the degree to which the plan maintains fossil fuels.
  • Research company Pecan Street is partnering with the University of Michigan to gather data in Detroit about energy use patterns of lower-income households.
  • The Natural Resources Defense Council criticizes a bill in the state legislature that would create a fund to expand natural gas delivery infrastructure in the Upper Peninsula.
  • The first commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy financing project in Ottawa County is at a senior living center that will get $8.5 million in financing for energy-efficient equipment and materials for net savings of $17 million over 25 years.
  • University of Michigan Assistant Professor and Urban Energy Justice Lab Director Tony Reames talks to WEMU about ways to combat energy poverty.

National Energy News

  • California regulators open a rulemaking regarding integration of distributed energy resources that one attorney describes as “the mother of all proceedings.”
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott moves to make the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) favor fossil fuel and nuclear generation and penalize renewable generation.
  • An NRG Energy executive raises doubts about the ability for the U.S. economy to decarbonize by 2035.
  • Clean energy groups and corporate renewable energy buyers alike are opposed to the proposal from Duke, Southern Co. and TVA to form a regional energy exchange market in the Southeast.
  • High-efficiency tandem solar cell technology could increase the efficiency of solar panels even further, but also faces hurdles in trying to break into a market dominated by proven technology.
  • Maine Gov. Janet Mills signs a bill prohibiting offshore wind in state territorial waters up to three miles from shore.

Michigan and National Energy Events

The 25th Michigan Energy Providers Conference 2021 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island from July 29-30 will provide a unique perspective of the future of energy and related policy needs in Michigan, and offer an opportunity to build relationships with others in the industry. CDC guidelines will be followed and all proper protocols will be taken to ensure a safe event. Conference registration will open soon.

The PlugVolt Battery Seminar 2021 in Plymouth, Mich., will feature an entire day of in-depth technical tutorials presented by world renowned professors from Top 50 US universities on Day 1, followed by Days 2 and 3 with industry subject matter experts presenting on Automotive and Stationary Storage applications respectively. Attendees will also get an exclusive opportunity to tour INTERTEK Battery Testing Center of Excellence in Plymouth, MI (USA). The seminar is scheduled for Oct. 5-7, and registration is open here. The U.S. Energy Storage Association Annual Conference & Expo (#ESACon21) will convene December 1-3

 in Phoenix to bring together buyers, sellers, investors, and leaders in the energy storage industry for an event focused on driving deals and business in the energy storage industry. The #ESACon21 is a must attend for anyone looking to expand their business, invest in, or develop partnerships in the energy storage industry. Learn more here

Gov. Whitmer created the Council on Climate Solutions as an advisory body to help formulate and implement the MI Healthy Climate Plan. The council is holding a series of meetings throughout the year on various topics related to cutting Michigan’s CO2 emissions and recommending solutions for communities disproportionately affected by climate change. Go to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Office of Climate and Energy website to learn how to join these meetings.


The Lansing Board of Water and Light will issue a Request for Information for electricity storage by the end of September. Vendors can register here.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s PlanetM Testing Grant gives mobility companies the opportunity to access testing facilities around the state, including Mcity at the University of Michigan. Apply here.

The Detroit 2030 District is a free program that challenges Detroit building owners and managers to reduce wasted energy. Those that achieve the greatest reductions from the prior-year baseline will be recognized at the first annual Detroit Energy Challenge Award Ceremony in 2021. Visit 2030districts.org/Detroit to find out more information including how a building can apply.