Michigan Agency for Energy: Ontario supports study of electric transmission with Upper Peninsula that could lead to reduced rates on both sides of the border

September 09, 2016

Contact: Judy Palnau, 517-284-8300
Agency: Michigan Agency for Energy

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Agency for Energy today said Ontario is supporting its request at the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) to study the near and long-term benefits of electric transmission between the Upper Peninsula and the Canadian province.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on August 17 asked MISO, the regional transmission operator for most of the state, to study the benefits of better electric connections between Michigan’s two peninsulas and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

“I am pleased that Ontario has joined with Michigan in supporting a study that will bilaterally explore ways to improve electric connections and reduce rates on both sides of the border,” said Valerie Brader, MAE’s executive director. “MAE looks forward to working together with Ontario in a cooperative and collaborative manner to examine the impact of interconnections that will move us toward adaptable, reliable, affordable and environmentally protective energy for Michigan’s future. MAE and Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) stand ready to provide support as requested by MISO to assist with this study.”

In a letter to MISO, Brader noted Ontario’s support for a MISO study by Glenn Thibeault, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, who said:

“I recognize the value of the Michigan Agency for Energy requesting MISO to study transmission options for the Upper Peninsula region. Ontario also recognizes that, as a general principle, interconnections with neighbouring jurisdictions provide significant economic and reliability benefits on a daily basis. In addition, they can also provide much needed support during emergency events, such as the sudden loss of a significant generating source or transmission element. Ontario supports the proposed study and we are interested in examining how the results could lead to shared benefits for Michigan and Ontario.

“To help facilitate this study, I have asked Ontario’s IESO to assist, as appropriate.”

For more information about MAE, please visit www.michigan.gov/energy.

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