MPSC seeks public input on electric grid reliability draft plans

August 4, 2017

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today asked for public comment on draft plans by the state’s two major utilities about the functionality and reliability of their electric distribution systems.

The Commission has ordered Consumers Energy (Case No. U-17990) and DTE Electric (Case No. U-18014) to develop five-year distribution investment and maintenance plans to increase visibility into the needs of maintaining the state’s system and to obtain a more thorough understanding of anticipated needs, priorities, and spending.

Following a forum Thursday sponsored by the Advanced Energy Economy Institute at the MPSC’s offices, the public and other stakeholders now have an opportunity to comment on the draft plans submitted by Consumers and DTE Electric. The utilities were ordered to address in their draft plans electric distribution system conditions, including equipment age and useful life; system goals and related reliability metrics; local system load forecasts; and maintenance and upgrade plans.

The Commission is seeking public input on the following questions, but respondents are not limited to only these areas:

  • Do the draft distribution planning reports provide a transparent review to identify and make cost-effective grid modernization and aging infrastructure investments necessary to support improved reliability, power quality, and future growth? Do the proposed investments provide a clear strategic path to address resiliency, reliability, and grid modernization, consistent with the MPSC’s goals outlined in the rate case orders?
  • Do the plans identify system upgrades or investment strategies and concrete, measurable performance targets and timeliness in areas such as safety and reliability?  
  • Are there longer-term enhancements to the plans or the planning process that the MPSC, utilities and stakeholders should be considering in future rounds?
  • Is there any other feedback for the Commission or its staff to consider? 

The comments will guide the MPSC’s actions in assuring an efficient electrical grid that reliably meets Michigan’s needs today and in the future, Commission Chairman Sally Talberg said.

There are two ways the public can submit comments, which must be received by 5 p.m. Sept. 6:

  • Send them to Executive Secretary, Michigan Public Service Commission, P.O. Box 30221, Lansing, MI 48909.

  • Email them to mpscedockets@michigan.gov.

Replies to comments posted in the case dockets are due by 5 p.m. Sept. 20.

All correspondence should reference either the Consumers Energy case (U-17990) or the DTE Electric case (U-18014).

For more information about the MPSC, please visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc or sign up for one of its listservs to keep up to date on MPSC matters.

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