MPSC and Michigan Energy Office Submit Renewable Energy Report to Governor

John D. Quackenbush, chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and Steve Bakkal, director of the Michigan Energy Office today submitted the renewable energy final report part of Governor Rick Snyder’s energy initiative that will prepare Michigan to make good energy decisions in the future.

“We heard from more people on the topic of renewable energy than any other energy-related topic as we traveled the state and in comments sent to us in 2013,” said Bakkal and Quackenbush. “The report issued today thoroughly examines factual information on renewable energy and lays out various scenarios for the Governor and Michigan Legislature to consider as they discuss next steps for Michigan’s energy future.”

The 115-page report notes:

  • It is theoretically technically feasible for Michigan to meet increased Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) of as much as 30 percent from resources located in the state.
  • Wind generation technology improvements have resulted in a decline in wind generation prices from over $100 per megawatt-hour (MWh) in 2009 to $50 to $60 per MWh now.
  • Wind-generated power has not contributed to any system-wide reliability problems, according to the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), the regional transmission operator for most of Michigan.

This report incorporates comments made during the public comment period after the renewable energy draft report was issued on Sept. 20.

“We appreciate the many comments that were made during the entire information-gathering process that started in February this year,” Quackenbush and Bakkal added. “Based on over 1,000 comments that were submitted in response to the renewable energy draft report, we made several significant revisions that are reflected in the final report submitted today. We anticipate that the report will be a valuable tool for the Governor and the Michigan Legislature.”

New material added to the renewable energy final report includes:

  • RPS eligibility for biomass, ground source heat pumps, and solar thermal;
  • More background on wind energy pricing referencing reports received;
  • A description of California’s energy storage requirements;
  • More background on Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s wind capacity credits; Independent Market Monitor’s recommendation to change the wind capacity credit calculation;
  • An update to the Energy Information Administration’s Henry Hub spot price graph to reflect the most recent data;
  • An added section that describes energy planning and provides background on the history of energy planning in Michigan;
  • An update to the surcharge assumptions used to calculate the renewable energy that could be obtained under various RPS standards; and
  • An additional incremental renewable energy scenario based on frozen 2012 renewable energy surcharge levels.

The final report submitted today is available on the website, along with the other draft reports that have been issued on electric choice, energy efficiency and “additional areas.”

Today’s report is the first of four final reports that will be submitted to Governor Snyder before Thanksgiving. In his Special Message on Energy and the Environment in November last year, Governor Snyder laid out a vision for a “no regrets” energy policy, one that would be adaptable and built on three pillars: excellent reliability, an affordable price, and a protected environment. The Governor charged Chairman Quackenbush and Director Bakkal with the information gathering process and directed them to issue draft reports for public comment and then final reports.

Source: Michigan PSC

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