Michigan Agency for Energy
September 23, 2016
Studies on electric reliability, possible U.P.-Ontario connection begin
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) today said that the regional transmission operator that covers most of the state has agreed to conduct two studies related to electric reliability, at the request of the state of Michigan, and that work has already begun.
“The Michigan Agency for Energy thanks the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) for agreeing to conduct two important studies for the state of Michigan as it plans for its energy future,” said MAE Executive Director Valerie Brader. “The results of the studies will help provide Michigan with the important information it needs to make decisions related to short and longer-term resource adequacy and to look at opportunities to reduce costs.”
On August 9, MAE, along with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), asked MISO to conduct a study to help the state of Michigan better understand the effects of plant closures on overall reliability. It specifically asked MISO to assess the vulnerabilities associated with simultaneous planned or unplanned outages at the Palisades Power Plant and the Fermi 2 nuclear energy facilities. Those facilities experienced outages during the summer of 2012, when the state was under a hot weather alert.
Governor Rick Snyder on Aug. 17 asked MISO to study the near and long-term benefits of electric transmission and expansion in MISO’s northern footprint to determine if there is an opportunity to lower costs while increasing reliability in the future. Specifically, the Governor asked MISO to study connecting Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and the northern Lower Peninsula at the Straits of Mackinac down to the northernmost part of the existing 345 kilovolt transmission line near Gaylord. He also asked for MISO’s study to assume a large natural gas plant is constructed in Otsego or Kalkaska County. In addition to several stakeholders, the province of Ontario supports the study.
For more information about MAE, please visit www.michigan.gov/energy.