MPSC approves settlement agreements authorizing Consumers Energy to construct and operate Saginaw Trail pipeline, Northern States Power Company to increase natural gas rates

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today approved settlement agreements authorizing Consumers Energy Company to construct and operate the Saginaw Trail pipeline and authorizing Northern States Power Company to increase natural gas rates. Details follow.

Case No. U-18166: The MPSC today approved a settlement agreement authorizing Consumers Energy to construct and operate the 24-inch Saginaw Trail pipeline in Saginaw, Genesee and Oakland counties. The 94.45-mile pipeline will replace the existing Line 2800 pipeline and is expected to be completed in 2022. The utility has been directed to file an annual report and plan requirements until the pipeline project is complete. Construction cannot begin until all necessary easements and permits have been acquired.

Case No. U-18140: The MPSC approved a settlement agreement authorizing Northern States Power Company to increase its natural gas rates. Under the terms of the settlement, rates will increase by $266,000, effective with the next billing month; $140,000, effective Jan. 1, 2018; and $143,000, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Residential customers using 100 therms of natural gas will see an increase of $3.05 on their monthly bills, beginning in April, an increase of $2.15 in January 2018 and an increase of $2.18 beginning in January 2019. The utility’s authorized return on equity is 10 percent, resulting in a calculated overall rate of return of 6.01 percent. The utility also agrees to spend at least $700,000 annually in its Michigan jurisdiction mains, services and riser replacements related to its Distribution Integrity Management Plan (DIMP) beginning in 2018 and continuing through 2019.

Additional MPSC actions today include:

Case Nos. U-18329 and U-18341: The MPSC opened two investigations into whether RCI Broadband and Martell Cable Company may be in violation of the Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act. Under Public Act 480 of 2006, video service providers are required to provide the MPSC with certain information annually. Neither company submitted the required information to the MPSC staff. Prehearings for these cases will be held May 26.

Minute Action: The MPSC directed its executive secretary to arrange informational public meetings near the Palisades Nuclear Plant during the month of May. The purpose of the meetings is to inform the public about the MPSC’s role, the timeline, and the administrative process to be followed in Case No. U-18250, which deals with Consumers Energy’s plan for early termination of its power purchase agreement with Entergy Nuclear Palisades, LLC and the potential for financial securitization. The meetings will also include a public comment period.

Case Nos. U-18166, U-18140, U-18329, U-18341 and Minute Action.

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.