- Newsletter (345)
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:
Why Michigan Needs a Green Bank Focused on Mobility
Michigan needs bold ideas to be one of the leading states embracing the transition to electric vehicles. In a new piece in Automotive News, Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman lays out an idea that could be a cornerstone of the state’s EV strategy: a green mobility bank that would provide the low-interest financing to alleviate uncertainty among customers and property owners and speed up the growth of EVs and charging infrastructure.
The timing is right, because in addition to major automaker announcements of EV models, the state is developing its strategies through the Council on Future Mobility and Electrification, of which Michigan EIBC VP of Policy Cory Connolly is a member. Michigan EIBC believes the green mobility bank should be part of this strategy, in addition to other policies we have discussed in reports and through our series of EV convenings.
“Just as low-interest financing, assisted by organizations like [Michigan EIBC member] Michigan Saves, helps turn the high upfront costs of efficiency projects into a manageable schedule of monthly payments, more financing options supported by the green mobility bank can do the same for EVs to mitigate sticker shock,” Sherman wrote in the Automotive News piece.
In addition, a green mobility bank could build on the progress made by utility EV rebate programs and support the development of even more charging stations. Doing so would “help fill the gap until utilization rates are high enough to unleash the private sector to build much more charging infrastructure,” Sherman wrote.
Michigan EIBC Recommends Improvements to Competitive Energy Procurement Process
This week Michigan EIBC and Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) submitted comments to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) on one of the most important issues being examined under the MI Power Grid proceeding: the competitive procurement of energy. Michigan EIBC and AEE have been participating in a workgroup with the MPSC to develop guidelines that will make the utility procurement process fair, impartial and open so the most efficient and affordable renewable energy and storage projects can rise to the top.
Best practices for competitive procurement to make renewable energy more affordable for all has been one of Michigan EIBC’s priority policy areas.
In the comments, we recommend that the MPSC adopt the draft guidelines along with explicit enforcement and review provisions. Specifically, we call upon the MPSC to regularly review the success of these guidelines as more competitive procurements take place so the door is open for more improvements based on the results of utility requests for proposals.
Tickets Available Now 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 in Detroit, MI.
Tickets are available here. RSVP soon as we expect this event to sell out.
Michigan EIBC members can still vote for Project of the Year, Business of the Year, and Public Official of the Year!
Details about the keynote speaker and more 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Watt Level
Michigan Energy News
- Michigan EIBC member Hemlock Semiconductor announces it is assuming direct operational control of polysilicon finishing operations at its Hemlock, Mich., facility and integrating most of the Qualified Staffing workers who currently perform polysilicon finishing directly into its workforce.
- Ford announces it will build a new lithium-ion and solid-state battery cells in Romulus.
- Blue Water Area Transit in the Port Huron area says it has become the first public transit agency in Michigan to add 100% electric battery-operated buses to its fleet.
- Recent flooding and storms in Southeast Michigan demonstrate how there needs to be changes in how electricity is generated, University of Detroit Mercy Associate Professor Nick Schroeck says in an interview with WDET.
- Electric bill assistance has been the top request from callers to Michigan 2-1-1 as households deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report from the Michigan League for Public Policy.
- Ottawa County approves Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing.
National Energy News
- More transmission lines could have paid for themselves by helping Texas avoid billions in economic damage from the winter storms this year, according to a new report from the American Council on Renewable Energy.
- The relationship between FirstEnergy and the former chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, to whom FirstEnergy paid $4.3 million in 2019, is under scrutiny.
- Hawaii regulators report successes with performance-based regulation incentivizing utilities to speed up interconnection for distributed energy resources.
- Demand for renewable energy project financing is potentially outstripping financiers’ ability to fulfill that demand, according to experts at a Wood Mackenzie panel.
- The geothermal energy industry is enthusiastic about opportunities to shift workers in the oil and gas industry to geothermal.
- Xcel Energy is proposing to shrink its Solar Rewards rebates in Minnesota in size so the company can offer rebates to more customers.
*NEW* Job Board
We are debuting a new section of the newsletter for Michigan EIBC members to post job openings in advanced energy fields. If you have a job announcement you would like in the newsletter, please send a paragraph describing the position and a link to apply to Matt Bandyk at email@example.com. Please include in the email a specific end date for the job posting.
Energy Sciences LLC
“As an energy engineer with Energy Sciences, you will join our team of degreed and licensed
engineers, scientists, and energy efficiency professionals to meet the energy use challenges of commercial and industrial facilities. We are looking for experienced and talented technical
team members to assist our clients, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, in
identifying energy-savings opportunities, reducing waste, and saving money. You will play a key entrepreneurial role on a team in an exciting, start-up environment that is dedicated to driving our vision of a sustainable and socially responsible energy future.”
Walker-Miller Energy Services
Position: Energy Advisor, Grand Rapids MI
“We provide our utility clients with a wide range of energy-saving and renewable energy solutions. From individual utility customers and construction contractors, to utilities, municipalities, and government bodies, our clients have come to depend on our customized energy efficiency programs to help them to meet their energy saving goals.
This Energy Advisor is primarily responsible for providing our services directly to landlords, building owners and other utility customers. You will provide expert advice and coordination for our programs while recommending specific modifications to electric and/or gas systems; you will also convince prospective clients of the improved efficiency that our services will bring. This role combines field work with office time (typically 3 field days to 2 office days per week). You will also be working with others who are passionate about energy efficiency and making a positive impact on the industry.”
Michigan and National Energy Events
On Aug. 4, join the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA) for a virtual workshop on storage plus solar, The Emerging Converging Hybrid Solution: Combining Energy Storage with Solar. Register now.
Michigan EIBC’s 9th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala will be held in Detroit on Sept. 14. Buy tickets here.
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.
State of Michigan DNR is going big in solar with projects in the ground, others in development and additional ones being planned. DNR has released a Request for Proposal for Prequalification Program for Renewable Energy PPAs: www.michigan.gov/sigmavss. Use “Guess Access” to get the RFP. A previous round of pre-qualifications netted solar companies that then were able to bid on a portfolio of DNR solar projects in Southwest Michigan. Another portfolio in the Northern Region is in the works for later this year. Only companies who pre-qualify can bid on future DNR solar projects. Please direct all correspondence to the Solicitation Manager, Laura Gyorkos at gyorkosL@michigan.gov
Consumers Energy Company is planning to seek competitive bids in response to a Request for Proposals (“RFP”) from participants in the MISO Energy Market in accordance with the Company’s Proposed Course of Action in its Integrated Resource Plan. Enel X North America, Inc. will administer the solicitation and anticipates formally releasing the upcoming RFP and associated documents late September 2021. Questions pertaining to this RFP or the proposal submittal process can be sent via email to Enel X by way of CECIA.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.