GLREA Update by Jennifer Alvarado
On February 23rd, over 50 companies were represented at GLREA’s networking event in Grand Rapids with partners, The Right Place and The Varnum Law Firm. Hosted by The Varnum Law Firm, the agenda included updates from Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell and on behalf of US Senator Debbie Stabenow, Kali Fox reviewed current federal policy initiatives and budget items.
Bruce Goodman of The Varnum Law Firm, reviewed the Michigan Public Service Commission’s 1st Report to the Michigan Legislature on the Implementation of the PA 295 Renewable Energy Standard and the Cost-effectiveness of the Energy Standards. A highlight of the report is the requirement of comparing renewable energy options cost, required under PA 295, to those of a 40 year conventional coal plant. The report stated that the cost of a conventional coal plant is at $133 per MWh while average costs for renewable generated energy are coming in at $101.78 per MWh for wind energy and $98.94 per MWh for biomass energy. The full report can be found at: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mpsc/Report_on_Implementation_of_PA_295_RE_345746_7.pdf
On Friday, February 26, 2011, Consumers Energy amended their initial filings at the Michigan Public Service Commission and submitted a report that drops the residential surcharge per customer per month for renewables over 70% from $2.50 to 0.70 cents per month. Commercial and Industrial Class customers will see drops in the renewable energy surcharges from 25%-95% depending on their current electricity rates.
Planning for the 2011 Michigan Energy Fair is underway! The fair will be June 24th-26th in Ludington Michigan. Please sign up for your booth now at www.glrea.org.
Prices start to increase after April 4th. Workshop proposals are due March 7th. You can submit online at www.glrea.org or contact us if you have any questions.
Michigan Energy News
Clean Energy Prize, established by DTE Energy and UM in 2008, encourages entrepreneurship and the development of clean energy technologies. The winning company, CSquared Innovations, is a UM start-up project that has developed a faster, cheaper, laser-based method of making nano-structured materials and coatings for lithium-ion battery electrodes, solar cells, and industrial coatings. Three other teams were honored in the 2011 contest. Team Smart Energy won second prize for a new financing model to retrofit municipal buildings. Team Impact Card won third for its funding mechanism that aggregates consumer credit card reward points as project financing for renewable energy development. Team Perennial BioEnergy finished fourth for its plan to develop a pennycress-based biodiesel industry. http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/02/18/battery-technology-firm-wins-um-dte-clean-energy-prize/
Governor Snyder by executive order has moved energy and labor functions out of the state Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth. There will be a smaller Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Parts of the state energy office have been transferred to DEQ and other parts of the office and the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Revolving Loan Fund have been transferred to the Michigan Strategic Fund, MEDC.
2009 Michigan Building/Residential, Rehabilitation and Energy Code Rules were filed with the Secretary of State on November 8, 2010, and become effective March 9, 2011. The State has adopted as its building energy code the IECC (International Energy Conservation Code) 2009 for residential buildings and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 for commercial buildings.
DTE Energy has issued a Request for Proposal to identify qualified companies to work with DTE Energy on large-scale solar energy installations. DTE Energy plans to install up to 12 MW over the next 4 years at locations throughout the company’s Southeast Michigan service area. Detroit Edison will own and operate the solar energy systems, which will be ground-mounted or on rooftops of commercial, industrial or DTE Energy buildings. DTE is seeking respondents who have significant experience in the engineering, development and installation of 150-kW and larger solar energy systems.
Respondents must register at www.poweradvocate.com to submit a bid. Any questions about this RFP should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. Responses are due by noon April 1, 2011.
United Solar has announced that the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has confirmed an initial 12% conversion efficiency of a large-area solar cell using Uni-Solar Nano-Crystalline silicon. To date, this is the highest large-area cell efficiency confirmed by NREL for thin-film silicon technology. Uni-Solar’s triple-junction technology incorporates nano-Ccystalline silicon layers on a flexible stainless steel substrate and increases the cell’s efficiency by about 50% relative to current Uni-Solar cells. http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/01/31/united-solar-achieves-world-record-12-efficient-thin-solar-cell/
America’s Oldest Net Zero Energy Home – check it out at http://greenovation.tv/.
Ludington Pumped Storage Plant, owned by Consumers Energy and DTE, will have a major upgrade begining in 2013. The maintenance and efficiency upgrade will increase the generating capacity of the plant from its current level of 1,872 MW to 2,172 MW. The Ludington plant plays an increasingly important role as a storage facility for energy produced during off-peak periods, making renewable energy more affordable and reliable.
Roush Manufacturing has begun the mass manufacturing of the Blink Level 2 electric vehicle charging station. Roush was selected as the manufacturer by their designer, San Francisco-based Ecotality. http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/02/11/roush-industries-ramps-up-ev-charger-production/
Michigan Public Service Commission has issued a Request for Proposals for Low‑Income Energy Efficiency Grants. The RFP makes available up to $18 million and invites proposals from non‑profit and public organizations that will improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption of Michigan low‑income residents. The deadline for submission of proposals is no later than April 29. http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0,1607,7-159-52493—,00.html
NextCat Inc., a Detroit-based company, announced that it has secured a license agreement for advanced biofuel catalyst technology developed at the National Biofuels Energy Lab at Wayne State University. The license agreement will allow NextCAT to commercialize a class of catalysts that enable biodiesel producers to use cost-effective raw materials such as waste vegetable oil, animal fats and residual corn oil. http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/02/16/biodiesel-firm-licenses-wayne-state-technology/
College of Engineering at Wayne State will be the first in the country to offer graduate and undergraduate certificate programs in advanced energy storage systems as the state’s automotive industry transitions into producing more electric drive vehicles. http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/02/17/wayne-state-offers-nations-first-certificates-in-advanced-energy-storage/
Michigan Public Service Commission has granted ITC Transmission an expedited siting certificate for a double circuit 345 kilovolt transmission line and four new substations to facilitate the transmission of electricity from wind turbines in the state’s primary wind resource zone, located in the Thumb. The approval marks the first time the MPSC has granted an expedited siting certificate since Public Act 295 of 2008 was enacted.
Energy Literacy Framework will be developed by DOE. The goal of this initiative is to compile a set of national standards for energy literacy, which can then be used to improve understanding of energy, energy sources, generation, use, and conservation. DOE will host two public meetings to gather information for this initiative. Space is limited and participation is available in-person only. For those that cannot participate in person, more information and opportunities to contribute are available through https://wiki.citizen.apps.gov/Energy_Literacy/index.php/Main_Page
100% Renewable Energy? Can it be done? Check out my blog on this topic at www.micheen.org and share your thoughts.
Silver Spring Networks and Oklahoma Gas & Electric have teamed up in Norman, Okla., to test smart grid solutions, allowing users to get feedback on their energy consumption using different technologies and pricing plans. Smart thermostats which can self-adjust based on energy needs, prices, and overall demand used 57% less energy at peak times. Some of the 2,500 homes in the study used web portals and simple energy use displays and they cut their usage 11-33%. http://www.grist.org/article/2011-02-16-knowing-what-you-spend-on-energy-can-cut-usage-by-more-than-half
Ontario has ruled out offshore wind projects at this time indicating further scientific research is needed. Applications for offshore wind projects in the Feed-In-Tariff program will no longer be accepted and current applications have been suspended. www.news.ontario.ca/ene/en/2011/02/ontario-rules-out-offshore-wind-projects.html
Open PV Project is a collaborative effort between government, industry, and the public to develop a comprehensive database of PV installation data for the US. The project is the largest installation database with over 50,000 entries. Users may add their own PV data, browse PV data entered by others, and view statistics. http://openpv.nrel.gov/
IKEA Group will soon have its own wind farm in Dalarna County, Sweden. The Swedish furniture retail giant has announced it’s partnered with Stockhom-based O2 to oversee the construction and maintenance of a 9 turbine wind farm slated to be completed in 2012. The wind farm will power the equivalent of 17 IKEA stores. IKEA has an ultimate goal of running on 100% renewable energy and has already bought 3 wind farms in France and 6 wind farms in Germany. IKEA’s 52 wind turbines generate about 10% of its total energy use. http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20032930-54.html
Exploring Our Energy Future – Panel Discussion on Economics of Energy will be held by WMEAC on March 2, 7-9 pm at Grand Rapids Community College, ATC Auditorium.
Michigan Energy Forum Electric Vehicle 101 will be held at Ann Arbor Spark on March 3, 5-8 pm. http://www.annarborusa.org/events/details?e=10751
Engineering Society of Detroit Alternative Energy Conference will bring together leaders in the industry on March 2, 9-5 at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn to discuss legislation, the future of the industry in Michigan, and growth and funding opportunities. http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/02/20/esd-to-host-alternative-energy-conference/
Introduction to Renewable Energy will be held by GLREA on Saturday, March 5th, 9-5 at Kellogg Center, MSU. The workshop includes sessions on solar hot water, photovoltaic, and wind energy systems. www.glrea.org
Advanced Management of Compressed Air Systems is offered by UM Industrial Energy Center, in partnership with DOE on March 8 – 9. Learn how to develop a system profile and address point-of-use issues, implement a maintenance program, determine compressor control strategies, align the supply-side to demand-side operation, and gain an understanding of heat recovery. http://www.miec.engin.umich.edu/?q=registration
State of the Science Workshop on the Ecological Effects of Wind will be hosted by the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative and the Richard P. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy, IUPUI on March 9-10 in Indianapolis. http://www.glc.org/energy/wind/sosworkshop/index.html
March 10th, GLREA will co-host a seminar with AFFEW and West Shore Community College on Wind Turbines Development and Education. Participating in the forum are Dr. Robert McCunney, MD, Research Scientist at the MIT Department of Biological Engineering and on staff at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Erik Nordman, Principal Investigator, GVSU Natural Resources Management Program, Dr. Jerry Punch, MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Mr. Ben Hoen, economist on staff with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and Mr. Joe Behrn, area resident in McBain, MI. The Forum begins at 6:30 at West Shore Community College’s Center Stage Theatre. Contact GLREA for questions. www.affew.org
9th Renewable Energy Conference will be held at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute near Hastings on March 19, 8:30-4:00. A diverse cast of speakers and topics will be featured at the conference and keynote sessions will highlight new projects in Michigan.
MADE in MICHIGAN, Renewable Energy Technology Show will be held at MAREC in Muskegon on March 21-23. The show will highlight renewable energy technologies and sustainable products from Michigan companies. Mark Clevey, DELEG will present on March 23. www.gvsu.edu/marec
2nd Turbine Supply Chain Conference 2011 will be held on April 5-6 in Detroit. http://www.windenergyupdate.com/supplychainusa/download-brochure.shtml?utm_source=Energy+Central&utm_medium=External+email&utm_content=brochure&utm_campaign=18+Jan
Michigan Energy Conference will be held at Ferris State on April 13 & 14. This conference will be attended by industry leaders in the fields of education, energy, energy management, public policy/governance, construction and transportation. http://www.ferris.edu/mec/
Revitalizing Innovation in Michigan for Clean Energy Manufacturing will be held on April 21-22 at the Michigan League, University of Michigan.
Green Living Festival will be held on May 13-15 in downtown Rochester. Learn about green living and wellness, and healthy, eco-friendly products, services and programs. http://migreenteam.com/glf
Smart Grid Symposium will be held at the Dearborn Inn on May 18-20. www.ipu.msu.edu/programs/MIGrid2011
Michigan Energy Fair will be held this year on June 24-26 at the Mason County Fair Grounds in Ludington. Get your booth now before prices increase at www.glrea.org!
Source/Prepared by: John Sarver for Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA)