Progress on Michigan’s Voluntary Green Pricing Programs; Delta Solar; EV Convening

Michigan EIBC & AEE Help Improve Options for Purchasing Renewable Energy

Laura Sherman of Michigan EIBC and Caitlin Marquis of AEE published a piece this week on corporate purchasing of renewable energy in Michigan. What follows is an excerpt. Read the entire blog here

Back in December 2016, an omnibus energy bill signed into law in Michigan contained a small section requiring utilities to develop “voluntary green pricing” programs. Today, nearly two years later, the ensuing regulatory process is producing results that will open new renewable energy options for residential as well as commercial and industrial (C&I) customers. The Michigan Public Service Commission recently issued orders requiring improvements to Consumers Energy’s “Large Customer Renewable Energy Program” (LC-REP) and Solar Gardens program, and to DTE’s MIGreenPower program, while also requiring DTE to introduce a new program focused on C&I customers.

AEE and the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC), AEE’s partner in the state, jointly provided comments and reply comments toward the state’s development of utility voluntary green power pricing programs, focusing in particular on the needs of C&I customers, as well as a quantification of potential C&I customer demand. In July 2017, the Commission issued guidelines for utility applications, which responded to many of the recommendations from stakeholders, including an emphasis on the importance of providing a “menu of options” to meet the needs of different customers.

In October 2017, Michigan utilities filed applications to comply with Section 61, with the state’s major utilities proposing to maintain the status quo. Specifically, DTE proposed to keep its existing MIGreenPower program as it is, and Consumers made the case that its SolarGardens and LC-REP programs met the requirements of the statute as they were.While approving applications from the smaller Michigan utilities, the Commission turned DTE’s and Consumer’s filings into contested cases. AEE and Michigan EIBC, along with the nonprofit Institute for Energy Innovation, intervened in both to make the case for improvements to meet the needs of more customers.

In October 2018, the Commission gave Consumers’ application conditional approval, while DTE’s application was rejected, noting several requirements that would be needed for DTE’s programs to pass muster.

In response to the Commission’s order, DTE has filed its proposed new “Large Customer Voluntary Green Pricing Program” and it’s a huge improvement over MIGreenPower—and much better suited to the needs of C&I customers. Consumers has also made an initial filing for expansion of its Solar Gardens and LC-REP programs.

In the months ahead, we’ll participating in the stakeholder process to explore barriers to third-party community renewable energy projects. And we’ll be following closely as DTE’s new C&I program and Consumers’ program expansion work their way through the regulatory process. It may be a long and winding road, but Michigan is on its way to making renewable energy available to more corporate customers than ever before.

Project Profile: The Delta Solar Project

The Delta Solar Project, a 24 megawatt system, was one of the first major utility-scale solar projects announced in Michigan when the Lansing Board of Water & Light initiated the project in 2014. The project was developed, designed, and constructed by EDF Renewables, a Michigan EIBC member, and is currently generating electricity for the Lansing Board of Water & Light (MI), a municipal utility serving the greater Capital Region.  The project is owned by CMS Energy, and was constructed utilizing Michigan based subcontractors.

The project, which powers the equivalent of 3,300 homes, was ultimately completed in 2018 after years of development and site work. A groundbreaking project, the Delta Solar Project is the largest single-axis tracker system solar project in Michigan and is the second largest project in the state. It is also the largest solar project developed and financed under a Power Purchase Agreement. While the project was a “first” in many respects, we expect it to serve as a model for future solar development in the state.

“This project reinforces BWL’s commitment to providing our customers with 30 percent clean energy by 2020 and 40 percent by 2030,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley. “We know this is what our customers want and we’re committed to giving them a clean energy future.”

The Delta Solar Project is one of many great projects that the advanced energy industry produced in 2018. We’re looking forward to seeing what’s next in 2019.

Join Us for EV Convening on Dec. 19

Over the course of 2018, Michigan EIBC has convened industry stakeholders, public officials, and nonprofit partners to learn and share best practices to electrify Michigan’s transportation sector. The transition to automated, connected, and shared vehicles — one that is increasingly talked about across the globe — will be done on an electrified platform. Michigan has the opportunity to lead this transition, but such a change is not without challenges.

On December 19, Michigan EIBC and the Institute for Energy Innovation will host an event to explore where to locate EV charging infrastructure, challenges to EV adoption in multi-unit dwellings, and progress toward electrifying Michigan’s school buses. Beyond these specific topics, we’ll also discuss current gaps that are limiting the deployment of electric vehicles in Michigan and potential solutions for 2019.

We hope to see you there on December 19th from 12pm – 3pm at the Michigan Public Service Commission (7109 West Saginaw Highway, Lansing, MI). RSVP here:

Renewing Members

Catalyst Partners
Catalyst Partners is a multi­‐dimensional consortium of knowledge leaders committed to the advancement and implementation of energy efficiency and restorative design standards for buildings, interiors and products. Our specialized services include High Performance Modeling, Design Comissioning and Certification, Energy Audits and Healthy Building Optimization. We are industry leaders in our knowledge and implementian of Energy Star, LEED, BREEAM, ILFI/LBC, WELL and many other certification processes. Our team of credentialed professionals includes Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Architects and Interior Designers who keep current on continuously evolving standards through participation on ASHRAE, MiEBIC and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) committees.

Wind Secure
Wind Secure specializes in inspecting, maintaining, repairing and protecting wind turbine foundations throughout the United States. Our patented process unlocks valuable data found within the foundation anchor bolts. We also specialize in corrosion protection by providing the best sprays, greases, coatings and anchor bolt covers that are available on the market.

Michigan Energy Stories

National Energy Stories

Michigan Energy Events  

You’re invited to attend our final 2018 electric vehicle convening on December 19th from 12pm – 3pm at the Michigan Public Service Commission (7109 West Saginaw Highway, Lansing, MI). RSVP here.

Attend Automobli-D January 14-17, an event showcasing suppliers driving mobility technology, V2I connectivity, urban mobility, smart cities, building a mobility workforce, ride sharing, cybersecurity and autonomous technologies.

The North American International Auto Show is Jan. 14-27 in Detroit.

You are cordially invited to participate in the first meeting of the Third-Party Community Energy Projects Workgroup. The meeting will be held on Thursday, January 24, 2019 at 10 o’clock in the Lake Michigan Hearing Room of the Commission Office at 7109 West Saginaw Highway in Lansing. The meeting content will also be available remotely. A website with information regarding this workgroup (including agendas and contacts) may be found at,4639,7-159-16393-484912–,00.html.

National Energy Events    
Attend the Smart Cities International Symposium & Exhibition Jan. 22-24 in Chicago.

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Winter Policy Summit is February 10-13, 2019 in Washingtion DC. Click here for more information.

Announcements and Opportunities
Wolverine Power Cooperative seeks a Director of Portfolio Modeling to enhance Wolverine’s utilization of advanced analytics and data science. Learn more:

The new gubernatorial administration is seeking applicants for the transition team and for appointments. Please visit to apply.