Scripps Named to MPSC; DEQ Reorganization Rejected: Annual Member Meeting

Last week, Dan Scripps was named to the Michigan Public Service Commission by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Scripps fills a vacancy left by former Commissioner Rachael Eubanks. Eubanks now runs Michigan’s Treasury Department.

The Michigan EIBC community is familiar with Scripps, who served as President of both EIBC and our partner organization, the Institute for Energy Innovation, from 2012 to 2017. Scripps is currently Midwest Policy Program Director for the Energy Foundation.

“I have full confidence that Dan Scripps will ensure we have a reliable and affordable energy supply to keep our economy moving and keep families safe,” Whitmer said in a statement. “We need to continuously find innovative ways to keep the lights on and the heat flowing, and Dan is the right guy for the job.”

Michigan EIBC is pleased that Whitmer has appointed a new commissioner who understands the advanced energy industry and the interests of our member companies. We look forward to working with Scripps in his new role.

Scripps will start at the MPSC later this month and is subject to consent by the Michigan legislature.

Michigan House and Senate Reject Executive Order Reorganizing DEQ

This week the Michigan Senate passed a resolution rejecting Governor Whitmer’s reorganization of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The executive order would have created a new Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Environment (EGLE) comprised of the former Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Agency for Energy, and Office of the Great Lakes.  

In addition to this reorganization, the EO also eliminated two legislatively created oversight panels, the Environmental Rules Review Committee and the Environmental Permit Review Commission. These bodies have considerable authority in the approval of new environmental regulations and would be expected to slow the approval of such regulations. The panels were only created in 2018 by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder.

Largely because the EO would have eliminated this oversight panels, the Republican majority in both the House and Senate rejected the executive order along party lines.
It is unclear whether Governor Whitmer will file a new executive order with changes that make it more acceptable to the legislature. Governor Whitmer has also asked the Attorney General (AG) for an opinion on whether the panels in question violate federal law.

Michigan EIBC Annual Member Meeting on April 23

On April 23, Michigan EIBC members, utility executives, policymakers, and regulators will gather to discuss the burgeoning opportunities in the advanced energy sector in Michigan at our Annual Member Meeting (RSVP today!) at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. There will be six break-out panels and multiple mainstage speakers throughout the day. Speakers will be from across the industry and will, among other topics, cover new market segments driving demand for advanced energy, financing innovations making more energy projects possible, and the constraints and opportunities created by the latest regulatory decisions. We are pleased to announce the first three panel topics:
The Future of Renewables in Michigan: Regulatory Constraints and Opportunities
Moderated by Laura Chappelle, Varnum LLP

Financing Energy Innovations
Moderated by Bali Kumar, Lean & Green Michigan

Expanding Opportunities: New Demand and Load Growth
Moderated by Caitlin Marquis, Advanced Energy Economy

New Members

BioWorks Energy LLC
BioWorks Energy is a full-service wastewater engineering and operations group specializing in the use anaerobic digestion for the purposes of power production. BioWorks operates its own waste to energy system utilizing anaerobic digestion which provides first-hand knowledge of optimized operations.

BioWorks Energy offers first in class services to deliver the highest return from operation of waste to energy facilities using anaerobic digestion. Whether it might be the initial planning stages or full scale operations, you can count on BioWorks Energy to be your partner every step of the way!

OneEnergy Renewables
OneEnergy Renewables is an innovative developer of community and utility-scale solar energy projects in North America.

Peninsula Solar
Established in 2011, Peninsula Solar is pioneering the installation of state of the art energy products. Thorough understanding of the trade combined with a dedication to best installation practices has driven the company’s advancement into the forefront of a regional solar and energy storage revolution.

Public Sector Consultants
For virtually every important public policy issue—but especially in education, energy and the environment, health, and community and economic development—we are Michigan’s go-to public policy firm.

We work closely with our clients to help them achieve innovative solutions to the problems they face. Sometimes clients look to us to conduct impartial research on tough topics. Sometimes they need us to implement and manage new programs. Sometimes they seek our facilitation skills on hot-button issues. Other times they want us to evaluate their programs and help make improvements. Whether our clients need one, some, or all of these services, our goal is to assist them in obtaining the best possible results.

Renewing Member

TRC Environmental is considered a pioneer in groundbreaking scientific and engineering developments since the 1960s. TRC is a national engineering services, consulting and construction management firm that provides integrated services to the energy, environmental and infrastructure markets. TRC serves a broad range of clients in government and industry, implementing complex projects from initial concept to delivery and operation.

Michigan Energy News

  • General Motors and Michigan EIBC member Amazon are reportedly ready to invest in a startup electric truck manufacturer based in Michigan.
  • The City of Petoskey has been in talks with officials from the Michigan Public Power Agency — a nonprofit that transmits and distributes electricity to municipal utilities — about increasing access to renewable energy for Petoskey residents.
  • The MPSC approved a proposal by Consumers to add up to 525 megawatts of new wind facilities to its power production portfolio (Case No. U-18231). Included in the added 525 megawatts are two proposed 175 megawatt wind projects that would begin operation this year and next.
  • Increased development interest in Michigan leads to questions from farmers and landowners about leasing property for solar projects.
  • Michigan regulators say events over the past year, including the polar vortex, have heightened their concerns about the state’s gas utilities.
  • When local residents feel the planning process for building wind turbines is fairand open, their perceptions of the often-controversial energy source remain steady or improve with time, according to a new University of Michigan study.
  • Solar advocates in Michigan push back against Consumers Energy’s request to delay interconnection requests for solar projects amid an unprecedented backlog.

National Energy News

Michigan Energy Events  

Legislators are invited to attend the Institute for Energy Innovation’s Energy 101 event on February 20th at the Michigan Municipal League (208 N. Capitol Ave, Lansing; basement room) from 12:00 – 3:30pm. A cocktail hour open to Michigan EIBC members will follow from 4pm – 6pm. 

Attend the 15th Annual Michigan Forum on Economic Regulatory Policy on Friday 22, February 2019 hosted by Institute of Public Utilities at MSU.  

Please join Michigan EIBC in Lansing on Monday, February 25 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm for a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Lunch Networking Meeting & Tour at MichiganCAT. Our featured speaker for the meeting will be Graeme Miller, Energy Policy Analyst with the Energy Resources Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). 

You’re invited to MEECA’s upcoming Annual Banquet & Awards Celebration on March 6th.

Members Only: Michigan EIBC members are invited to join us in Lansing on Friday, March 15 for an in-person Policy Committee meeting at Dykema in Lansing. This meeting replaces March’s Policy Committee conference call. 

Join Michigan EIBC on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 for our 7th Annual Member Meeting at the MSU Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center. 

Members Only: Michigan EIBC members are invited to join us in downtown Lansing on Wednesday, April 24 for Lobby Day. During Lobby Day, Michigan EIBC staff, members, and our lobby team at Dykema meet one-on-one with Michigan State Legislators and their staff to discuss current and future issues for the advanced energy industry.

National Energy Events    

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

Join the Midwest Cogeneration Association for “Energy Policy and the Case for Combined Heat & Power” on February 19, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.  

The 12th annual Storage Week is February 25-27 in San Francisco.

The Solar Power Finance & Investment Summit is March 19-21 in San Diego.
Attend the Midwest Renewable Energy Summit on April 16-18, 2019, in Chicago, IL.

Announcements & Opportunities

Michigan EIBC member Plug Smart seeks a business development professional for its southern Michigan territory. More information here.

Michigan EIBC member Geronimo is hiring for multiple positions working on renewable energy deployment in the Midwest.