Michigan sees major benefits from renewable energy adoption

On February 15, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) issued its third annual report on the implementation of the state’s renewable energy standard and its cost effectiveness. Public Act 295 of 2008 requires the report to be issued by Feb. 15 each year.

For 2011, the estimated renewable energy percentage reached 4.4 percent, up from 3.6 percent the previous year. For 2012, renewables are expected to have reached 4.7 percent.

“More renewable energy came online in Michigan in 2012 than ever before,” noted MPSC Chairman John D. Quackenbush. “Michigan added 815 megawatts of new wind capacity in 2012, and now has a total of 978 megawatts from 14 operating wind farms.”

Highlights of the report include the following:

  • By the end of 2012, Michigan’s renewable energy standard will have resulted in the development of 964 megawatts of new renewable energy projects.
  • Compared to building a new, conventional coal facility, renewable energy contracts are significantly lower in price –with the exception of two anaerobic bio-digester contracts representing less than 4 megawatts (MW) of capacity.
  • The weighted average prices of renewable energy contracts is $82.54 per megawatt-hour (MWh), which is less than what was forecasted in renewable energy plans, and is substantially lower than the cost of new coal-fired plants.
  • A total incremental cost of $74 million was spent on renewable energy in Michigan through 2011.
  • Electric providers – except Detroit Public Lighting (DPL) – are on pace to meet interim targets as well as the 10-percent-by-2015 target. DPL is expected to be unable to meet the standard because of surcharge caps put in place by Michigan law.
  • Wind energy has been the primary source of new renewable energy in Michigan. At the end of 2012, there were 978 MW of utility-scale wind projects in operation in Michigan.
  • Michigan has experienced significant investment in renewable energy since the passage of Public Act 295 of 2008. Conservatively, over $1.79 billion has been invested to bring 895 MW of new renewable energy projects online in Michigan through 2012.

The entire report is available here.

 

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