This Week’s Michigan EIBC News: A Coalition To Support Lifting The DG Cap

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:

Coalition Joins With Michigan EIBC to Support Lifting of DG Cap

A diverse range of voices is united behind HB 4236, a bill to remove the distributed generation cap in Michigan. The leaders of four different organizations—Mike Shriberg of the Great Lakes Regional Center of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), Rod Williamson of the Association of Businesses Advocating Tariff Equity (ABATE), Lisa Wozniak of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters (LCV)—joined with Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman in a letter appearing in Crain’s Detroit Business calling for the bill’s approval.

Despite having “different priorities and represent[ing] very different stakeholders,” the groups all agree on the biggest benefits that can come from lifting the distributed generation cap. “More efficient use of energy, reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as well as a more reliable electric grid are good for everyone, which is why groups like ours… are calling for the same legislative action,” the letter states. 

Michigan EIBC Releases Survey to Help Create Energy Storage Roadmap

The Institute for Energy Innovation is developing an energy storage roadmap for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and needs help from Michigan EIBC members, as well as other companies that are working on energy storage in any capacity and using any technology, such as batteries, thermal storage, compressed air storage, pumped storage and more.

By March 26, please fill out this brief survey to help IEI determine what policies are most important to support energy storage deployment in Michigan.  

The U.S. Energy Storage Association Annual Conference & Expo (#ESACon21) will convene stakeholders throughout the energy storage ecosystem for a two-part event in 2021. On April 21-22, attendees will learn from industry insights, opportunities, and successes at Virtual #ESACon21 – free for all attendees. #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 Virtual #ESACon21 is a must attend for anyone looking to expand their business, invest in, or develop partnerships in the energy storage industry. Register for free today!


Tell Your State Legislators About the Bill to Remove the DG Cap

HB 4236, new legislation to lift the cap on distributed generation, is critically important for the future of renewable and distributed energy in Michigan. Several organizations including, Vote Solar, the Alliance for Solar Choice, and Advanced Energy Works have created portals for Michiganders to send letters supporting the bill to lift the cap to their representatives. In addition, two Michigan EIBC partner organizations, Vote Solar and the Alliance for Solar Choice, have created similar portals.

Click these links to connect to your legislators about the bill.

Less Than a Month from the
9th Annual Energy Innovators Conference

 Michigan EIBC invites you to join us on Wednesday, April 7 from 9:10 am to 12:30 pm EST for the 9th Annual Energy Innovators Conference. This virtual conference will take place via Zoom.

The content of the half-day conference features prominent speakers and panelists listed below who will discuss the latest energy-related topics and innovations. There will also be a 45 minute mid-conference networking session with a variety of self-selected breakout rooms and the opportunity to speak with other participants of your choosing.

Building Electrification, Green Infrastructure Finance,
and Climate Justice:  

How to Make Buildings Greener, Healthier and Smarter While Increasing Wealth in Historically Disenfranchised Communities

Donnel Baird is the founder of BlocPower, a clean tech startup based in New York City. BlocPower develops portfolios of clean energy retrofit opportunities in underserved communities, and connects those opportunities to investors seeking social, environmental, and financial returns. BlocPower creates jobs for qualified local low- income workers, energy savings for community institutions, reduces carbon emissions, and provides returns to investors. BlocPower is backed by Kapor Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Eric and Wendy Schmidt, the American Family Institute for social and environmental impact, and Salesforce. Baird is a graduate of Duke University and Columbia Business School, where he was a recipient of the Board of Overseers Fellowship and a recipient of investment from the Lang Fund for Entrepreneurial Initiatives. He spent four years as a political and community organizer, and more than two years managing a national initiative to leverage American Reinvestment and Recovery Act energy efficiency investments in underserved communities. Baird lives in his native borough of Brooklyn with his wife and son.

The conference also features these speakers:
What Happened in the First 100 Days and What’s Next?Moderated by JR Tolbert

Fireside Chat with Michigan Public Service Chairman Dan Scripps
and FERC Commissioner Allison Clements

The keynote speaker for the conference is Pete Kadens, serial entrepreneur and dedicated philanthropist who currently serves as the chairman of The Kadens Family Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to closing the pervasive wealth and education gaps in the US.
 Keynote AddressInvesting in Our Communities: Dream Big, Act Small

RSVP today! Tickets start at $25.

Sponsorship opportunities are available and can be found on the Michigan EIBC website.

Event Sponsors

Terawatt Level

Gigawatt Level

Megawatt Level

Kilowatt Level

Michigan Energy News

  • Michigan United Conservation Clubs supports House Bill 4236 to lift the distributed generation cap as part of a potential solution to climate change impacts on Michigan’s wildlife and fisheries.
  • The Upper Peninsula Energy Task Force will hold its final meeting on March 20 ahead of the release of its final report at the end of the month.
  • High winds linked to climate change are damaging water quality and fish populations in the Great Lakes.
  • Howard Learner of the Environmental Law & Policy Center writes about how Michigan can benefit from Biden administration climate policies.
  • Oakland County is looking for a chief sustainability officer to devise a plan to reduce the county’s footprint.
  • Michigan Republican representatives in both the U.S. House and state legislature ask President Biden to oppose the potential closure of the Line 5 pipeline.

National Energy News

  • Reforming wholesale electricity markets and planning can allow 90% of the U.S. power system to be decarbonized using today’s technologies, according to a new report from the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance Institute and Grid Strategies that sets out a road map for a 21st century electricity system.
  • NextEra Energy announces plans for a $700 million, 690-MW solar energy project at the site of the decommissioned Duane Arnold nuclear plant in Iowa.
  • FERC Commissioner Allison Clements (who is speaking at the 9th Annual Energy Innovators Conference on April 7) talks transmission reform, the Texas situation and more in an interview.
  • Greentech Media bids farewell after a 14-year run covering energy news.
  • Congress is investigating if a federal government-subsidized clean coal program actually led to more pollution.
  • The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) issues its road map for a better transmission system.

Michigan and National Energy Events

The U.S. Energy Storage Association Annual Conference & Expo (#ESACon21) will convene December 1-3, in Phoenix. Register for free today!

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.

Michigan State University’s Institute of Public Utilities’ Power Grid School is in session. Its second course, from April 6-8, is on Integrated Planning, Energy Transformation and Climate Action. Learn more about the program and sign up. Michigan EIBC members receive a 5% discount—contact us to find out more!

The 9th Annual Energy Innovators Conference will take place virtually on April 7RSVP here.

The Upper Peninsula Clean Energy Virtual Conference Series continues with “Task Force Report & Legislative Policy Update” on April 16.

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.

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.     


Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is seeking applicants for the 1 Hotels Fellowship, due by May 15. E2 says: “the 1 Hotels Fellowship at E2 is designed to support early to mid-career businesspeople who seek to tackle pressing environmental issues through projects that are good for the economy and good for the environment. Six selected fellows will receive $20,000 each and work with E2 staff to implement their projects for the 2021-2022 program cycle.” Learn more here.

The city of Ann Arbor has an RFP for solar installations on a number of city facilities. Responses are due March 25, and details are available at the city’s purchasing website.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for the 9th Annual Energy Innovators Conference on April 7.
 Centrepolis is launching its new C3 Accelerator, funded in part by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, New Economy Initiative and the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator.  The accelerator will offer a total pool of $275,000 in funding including grants, equity-free interest-free investments, and services to support product development and scaling of cleantech, climatech, and circular economy technologies. A portion of these investments will be dedicated to support ventures led by women, people of color, veterans and other underrepresented entrepreneurs. Applications are due May 31, and can be submitted through this link.  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.