Recap of Storage Convening, Growing Interest in Hydrogen Market

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:

2nd Energy Storage Convening Illuminates New Opportunities for Behind-The-Meter Projects

Michigan EIBC’s 2nd Energy Storage Convening engaged its over 115 participants with examples of real world use cases for behind-the-meter storage. Breakout discussions via Zoom allowed for networking and generated several enlightening conversations about the hurdles storage must overcome.

The ability of storage to generate income from several different sources at once is essential. “In only rare instances, do you ever have a single value stream that moves the needle,” Chris Brown, director of business development at Aypa Power, said during the convening.

Dr. Naim Darghouth, principal scientific engineering associate at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, talked about the research the lab has done on what have been the two primary value streams for behind-the-meter storage thus far—first, cutting peak load and helping a customer pay less in demand charges, and second, energy arbitrage (charging the battery when electricity prices are relatively low and discharging it when they are relatively high).

New opportunities are emerging to accompany these revenue sources. As Darghouth described, load aggregators in California are paying customers to take control of their storage systems, then combining the capacity of these systems to make a bid into wholesale markets. This strategy limits arbitrage opportunities for the customer, but “the idea would be that the overall value would still increase,” Darghouth said.

Brett Steudle of DTE Energy and Tanya Krackovic of eCamion discussed the details of a DCFC station with integrated storage in Auburn Hills. The storage component will ensure that the max the station could ever draw from the grid is 20 kW, making the charging station run more smoothly and ensuring that the reliability of the local grid is maintained.

Storage can also enhance manufacturing operations, and this market is growing, according to Mike Troupos, managing director at Michigan EIBC member Foresight. “Manufacturers have taken a more serious look at storage,” he said during the convening. Backup power from energy storage projects can help customers avoid maintenance issues for equipment that come about if the power goes out without the ability to properly shut the equipment down. 

Source: Plug Power

Interest Growing in Potential for Hydrogen Market

One of the most talked about energy trends of 2020 is a growing focus on “green hydrogen” as an essential component of plans to decarbonize. Hydrogen, when produced through electrolysis powered by renewable energy, is being aggressively pursued by the European Union and others as a replacement for oil, coal and natural gas in industrial sectors. A Bank of America report recently estimated that hydrogen could be a $2.5 trillion market by 2050. Michigan EIBC member Apex Clean Energy recently struck an agreement to collaborate with hydrogen provider Plug Power Inc., while Michigan EIBC member NextEra Energy is planning a $65 million plant in Florida that will produce hydrogen from solar power.

Michigan certainly has had and will continue to have a role in the production and use of hydrogen. In 2019, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Energy worked together under a memorandum of understanding to pursue R&D into a domestic supply chain for hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cells. The University of Michigan is a major center for research into hydrogen fuel cell potential to be an alternative to lithium ion batteries in vehicles and Michigan State University’s Center for Railway Research and Education has explored the concept of hydrogen-powered trains. Last year, Plug Power made a deal to overhaul the electric material handling vehicles at the Warren campus of Lipari Foods with hydrogen fuel cells.

We will keep an eye on more opportunities in the hydrogen space.

Register Today for Michigan Energy Innovators Gala on November 12

Michigan EIBC’s 8th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala will be taking place on Thursday, November 12 from 4:30 to 6:00 pm EST via Zoom, featuring keynote speaker Dana Nessel, Attorney General for the State of Michigan! 

During the gala, we will announce and celebrate this year’s Business of the Year and Project of the Year as voted on by the Michigan EIBC membership. 

RSVP Today!


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Kilowatt Level

Michigan Energy News

  • Consumers Energy’s upcoming integrated resource plan is an opportunity for the utility to deliver on its promises of clean energy, the Natural Resources Defense Council writes.
  • Gov. Whitmer declared Oct. 7 to be Energy Efficiency Day and issued a proclamation that “urge(s) citizens to join us in supporting our clean energy goals and moving toward more energy efficiency now and in the future.”
  • A majority of Michigan local government officials surveyed by the University of Michigan see improving energy efficiency as relevant to their work, and about 40% have had energy audits conducted for at least one government facility.
  • Southfield-based commercial real estate firm Farbman Group joins DTE’s MIGreenPower program.
  • The cities of Hillsdale, Clinton, Marshall and Coldwater are overpaying for electricity due to being locked into 50-year contracts with American Municipal Power, according to a new study.

National Energy News

  • battery system in rural Illinois is enhancing reliability by providing backup power that fills the gap when the power goes out and workers have to navigate hilly terrain to fix the problem.
  • A domestic EV battery chain could form with the help of huge lithium deposits in California’s Salton Sea.
  • Coal and nuclear plant retirements in the Midwest could trigger high demand for power from natural gas-fired plants and burn through the region’s high levels of stored gas.
  • The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts more generation from coal plants and higher CO2 emissions in 2021 due to higher natural gas prices relative to 2020.
  • General Motors plans to buy energy from new solar projects in Arkansas that will substantially increase that state’s solar capacity.
  • Arizona regulators approve a residential battery storage pilot program, while at the same time Green Mountain Power in Vermont reports that its residential battery storage program has saved customers $3 million in 2020 so far.

Online Resources

Due to the number of events that have been canceled or postponed due to the pandemic, we are sharing some online webinars and tutorials on advanced energy topics that may be of interest.
 The National Regulatory Research Institute has a three-part webinar series on “The Impact of COVID-19 on Utility Rate Making.”

Due to COVID-19, PlugVolt is offering complimentary access to a webinar series that provides a guide to how to select primary and secondary cells for battery products.

The Small Business Association of Michigan has many online resources including Youtube webinars and daily video briefings about COVID-19 and how small businesses in Michigan can cope.

Norton Rose Fulbright regularly organizes webinars featuring experts and executives of major companies, such as this one on the challenges that COVID-19 and low commodity prices pose to the energy industry.

The Clean Energy Group has a huge archive of webinars and presentations related to net metering, energy efficiency, EVs, energy storage and much more.

The Energy Storage Association has a number of upcoming and recorded webinars covering many different facets of energy storage. 

Michigan Energy Events

On Oct. 22, the Michigan Cogeneration Association presents a virtual event on “CHP’s Critical Role in Renewable Energy Projects,” featuring Kevin O’Connell, Advanced Energy Systems Manager for Michigan EIBC member Michigan CAT. Register now.

The 2nd annual Zero Net Energy Residential Conference is bringing together state and regional experts, energy efficiency contractors, solar contractors, homeowners to learn about zero net energy homes at this virtual event on Oct. 20-22Register here.

Register for Michigan EIBC’s Michigan Energy Innovators Gala on Nov. 12.

The University of Michigan Ross School of Business is holding its inaugural Ross Energy WeekNov. 16-20, including a Renewable Energy Case Competition and Energy Conference.   

National Energy Events

Co_Invest Cleantech 2020, Clean Energy Trust annual flagship event, will be held virtually on Oct. 22, featuring an insider’s look at the Midwest’s emerging clean technologies and exclusive access to innovation leaders.

The Great Plains Institute is holding a webinar series on the Midwestern clean fuels policy. Learn more here.


The Kent County Department of Public Works is looking for an anchor tenant for its planned Sustainable Business Park. Learn about the RFP here.

The Green Task Force is requesting that non-profit and faith-based organizations fill out a brief survey to assess readiness for solar projects.

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 to find out more information including how a building can apply.