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MPSC Staff Submits Report Related to Holland Board of Public Works' Proposed New Coal-Fired Plant to the DNRE

Contact: Judy Palnau (517) 241-3323

July 7, 2010

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) staff today submitted its report to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources & Environment (DNRE) on Holland Board of Public Works' (HBPW) electric generation alternatives analysis (EGAA) for its proposed new coal-fired plant in Holland, Mich.

The report found that the Holland Board of Public Works failed to adequately demonstrate the need for the proposed facility as the sole source to meet its projected capacity requirement and under-estimated the potential impact of energy efficiency in future years.

The report also noted that:

  • HBPW analyzed only one base case scenario in their resource expansion plans. 
  • Purchased power options were not fully explored, as they were limited to only 10 percent of the total requirement within the model.
  • The proposed circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler is one alternative out of a range of alternatives that could be used to fill the projected capacity need.

The utility company filed its EGAA with the MPSC on April 1, as directed in the procedures established in MPSC Case No. U-15958.

The MPSC staff report, the EGAA, public comments and exhibits are available at:

http://efile.mpsc.state.mi.us/efile/viewcase.php?casenum=16077

On April 1, 2009, the MPSC entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) (now called the DNRE) that clarified each participant's role and responsibility regarding a review process to evaluate electric generation alternatives and provide technical assistance to the DNRE.

The DNRE is charged with determining whether an application filed to construct a new coal-fired electricity generating plant meets the requirements of Michigan and federal air quality laws and requirements.

The MPSC has two tasks, pursuant to the MOU:

  • Providing technical assistance to the DNRE on all matters related to the need for electric generation in the state, as it relates to the analysis that looks at alternatives to coal-fired generation.
  • Reviewing the alternatives analysis to assess whether energy efficiency, renewable energy, or other alternatives meet future electricity needs.

Comments from the public were allowed for a period of 30 days, which ended on April 30.  All comments that were submitted within the public comment period were evaluated by Staff and are contained in Case Number U-16077.  Issues of concern and/or support were clearly identified and taken into consideration throughout the entire investigative process. Thousands of public comments were received during the 90-day docket period from interested citizens, multiple organizations, and various environmentalist groups expressing their opinion on HBPW's EGAA.

HBPW is seeking a permit to install (PTI) for a new 70 megawatt (net) CFB boiler, and associated facilities at 64 Pine Ave. in Holland, Mich.

The MPSC is an agency within the Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth.

Case No. U-16077