Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 15, 2020
The Michigan Public Service Commission today released a one-year status report on its MI Power Grid initiative launched last fall in partnership with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to help guide Michigan residents and businesses through the rapid changes in the energy industry as it transitions to clean, distributed energy.
MI Power Grid (Case No. U-20645) is a multi-year effort to maximize the benefits of Michigan’s transition from large, centrally located electricity plants to smaller clean, distributed energy resources such as solar, battery storage, and energy efficiency. The initiative has three areas of emphasis: customer engagement, integrating emerging technologies, and optimizing grid performance and investments.
One year in, MPSC staff and hundreds of stakeholders — representing MPSC staff, other state agencies and commissions, local governments, state lawmakers, utility companies, consumer advocates, universities, clean energy advocates, environmental groups, business customers, national laboratories and others —on seven MI Power Grid workgroups have conducted 32 stakeholder meetings. The efforts have resulted in five reports with recommendations for Commission action, and the Commission has issued ten orders related to MI Power Grid, with more expected by the end of 2020.
“The MPSC Staff and hundreds of stakeholders have been meeting regularly, through the pandemic, to make progress on ensuring Michigan has a modernized, adaptable regulatory environment that makes the best of the clean energy transition,” MPSC Chair Dan Scripps said. “I want to thank all the stakeholders involved in MI Power Grid, which is laying critical groundwork for Michigan’s energy future.”
MI Power Grid’s first-year highlights include these Phase I activities:
While the work involved in Phase I is nearing completion, the Commission also has begun work on Phase II.
The second phase of MI Power Grid’s Advanced Planning Processes will focus on the Integration of Resource/Distribution/Transmission Planning activities through May 2021 and is expected, through an upcoming Commission order, to develop recommendations for incorporating Governor Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate Plan’s carbon-reduction goals into utility integrated resource planning requirements by the end of 2020.
In addition, the Competitive Procurement Workgroup is developing Competitive Procurement Guidelines to ensure a strong, technology-neutral market response and value for ratepayers through transparency, non-discriminatory access, certainty, and fairness in bidding processes. Stakeholder meetings are underway and will continue through the first quarter of 2021, after which Staff will submit a final guidance document for the Commission’s consideration.
Today’s Staff report also submitted a number of recommendations for the Commission, including issuing orders to incorporate two recently adopted Michigan Senate resolutions into MI Power Grid’s workgroups. Senate Resolution 142 asks the MPSC to conduct a study on “alternative and innovative rate design options for Michigan's electric customers,” while Senate Resolution 143 urges the MPSC to “study the potential opportunity to integrate customer-owned generation resources into the electric grid.” Staff also recommends the Commission use a MI Power Grid workgroup to evaluate the impact of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Order 2222, which requires regional transmission organizations to establish tariffs allowing aggregators of distributed energy resources to participate in wholesale markets. Staff also recommended that the Commission consider ordering Staff to submit a second status report during the third quarter of 2021 and extending the deadline for the MI Power Grid final report until 2022 to allow for adequate time for stakeholder efforts, Staff review and recommendations, and Commission action on MI Power Grid’s remaining work areas.
DISCLAIMER: This document was prepared to aid the public’s understanding of certain matters before the Commission and is not intended to modify, supplement, or be a substitute for the Commission’s orders. The Commission’s orders are the official action of the Commission.
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