MPSC schedules prehearing in electric line dispute

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   May 2, 2019

Contact: Nick Assendelft 517-284-8300
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LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Public Service Commission today set a hearing date in a dispute over a proposed new electrical service line in southern Michigan.

The disagreement between Michigan Electric Transmission Company LLC; Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative Inc.; Midwest Energy and Communications; and Consumers Energy Co. is scheduled for a prehearing conference June 4 in Lansing (Case No. U-20497).

METC, Wolverine, and ME&C argue the proposed 138 kilovolt line should be considered a transmission line, while Consumers contends it should be classified as a distribution line. How it is ultimately designated will determine who has control over the line.

After the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, the regional transmission operator for the central United States, approved METC’s plan to build the line, Consumers filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. Subsequently, METC, Wolverine and ME&C requested FERC to delay its decision until the MPSC rules in the dispute.

The MPSC denied a request by METC, Wolverine, and ME&C that the MPSC issue a ruling without first conducting a formal proceeding to consider evidence.

The prehearing will be at the MPSC’s offices at 7109 W. Saginaw Highway.

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COMPANY ORDERED TO APPEAR AFTER MISS DIG VIOLATION PROBE

The MPSC today ordered McLean Transport LLC to explain why it has ignored Commission Staff requests for information about damage to a 3/4-inch natural gas line in April 2018 in Grand Ledge (Case No. U-20520). Staff contacted McLean by mail and phone numerous times as part of its incident investigation, which included whether underground utilities were properly marked and whether McLean used caution near those facilities, but the company has not responded to a request for information. McLean is ordered to explain why it should not be found in violation of the Miss Dig Underground Facility Damage and Prevention Safety Act of 2003. A prehearing conference is scheduled for June 4.

FINAL ROUND OF SEMCO ENERGY GAS CO. TAX ADJUSTMENTS APPROVED

The MPSC approved an agreement to return savings to SEMCO Energy Gas Co. customers as a result of lower corporate tax rates under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Case No. U-20311). In SEMCO’s next rate case, protected excess accumulated deferred income taxes of $47,425,365 will be amortized over 32.57 years, non-protected excess accumulated deferred income taxes of $4,524,513 will be amortized over 10 years, and the combined protected and non-protected 2018 and 2019 deferred liability of $3,817,116 will be amortized over five years. Under the settlement, customers will not see an immediate change to their current rates. The Commission approved two previous rounds of required refunds in May 2018 and September 2018.

To look up cases from today’s meeting, access the eDockets filing system here.

To watch a livestream of the MPSC’s meetings, click here.

For information about the MPSC, visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc, sign up for one of its listservs, or follow the Commission on Twitter.

DISCLAIMER: This document was prepared to aid the public’s understanding of certain matters before the Commission and is not intended to modify, supplement, or be a substitute for the Commission’s orders. The Commission’s orders are the official action of the Commission.

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