A clean energy financing program in Michigan reached a milestone last month when it helped homeowners and businesses install 1 megawatt of solar energy across the state.
In Grand Rapids, Michigan, a major utility is partnering with the city and a local developer on an “energy district” equipped with solar panels and battery storage to accompany the growth.
Ohio’s Rover Pipeline project faces continuing problems, with more spills of drilling mud, ongoing questions about diesel fuel contamination, and orders issued last week by both the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
As smart meter usage expands, so do questions about the ways utilities and other companies can harness energy data to advance grid technology.
Jigar Shah, the founder of solar company SunEdison, is credited with helping transform the industry in the early 2000s by allowing customers a pay-as-you-go model for installing solar panels, opening the door for widespread adoption. After leaving SunEdison, Shah in 2014 co-founded his latest venture in San Francisco-based Generate Capital, a specialty finance company focused on sustainable infrastructure within the food, energy, water and materials sectors. Amid the “Resource Revolution” — which the company sees as an opportunity to transform the productivity of systems that power society — Generate Capital took Shah’s SunEdison concept and applied it to an “Infrastructure-as-a-Service” model for both companies and municipalities that might struggle with upfront capital costs. Earlier this year, Generate Capital bought a state-of-the-art biodigester facility in rural West Michigan for $4.4 million after the facility abruptly closed two years ago, despite initial fanfare. Financial specialists say the facility, which opened in Fremont, Michigan in 2012, was overbuilt at $22 million.
Next week, Michigan officials plan to publicly release a highly anticipated draft report about potential alternative routes for an aging oil and gas pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac between Lakes Michigan and Huron.
Nearly a year after advocates raised transparency concerns over the hiring of two companies to study Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac, the state has canceled its contract with one of the firms, citing a conflict of interest.
Advocates say recent regulatory changes in Michigan could spur more solar energy development from independent producers and ensure existing renewable energy generators are paid fair prices from utilities for their power.
While the bill is unlikely to pass, Michigan Democrats say a proposal for a 50 percent renewable energy standard is intended to “set up a new frontier of where we should be looking”
The idea of the Building Operator Certification program, which is available in 36 states across the country and throughout the Midwest, is to arm facility managers with knowledge about energy efficiency.