MPSC approves more wind for Consumers' renewable energy plan

Consumers Energy Co.’s request to add wind generation to its renewable energy plan was approved by the Commission, but delayed a decision on the company’s request to add solar facilities.

 

Consumers said the new wind and solar facilities are needed to meet the state’s renewable portfolio standard. The standard set in Public Act 295 of 2008 and expanded in Public Act 342 of 2016 requires Michigan electric providers to produce from renewable energy resources 12.5 percent of the retail power it supplies in 2019 and 2020, and 15 percent in 2021.

 

The Commission approved a proposal by Consumers to add up to 525 megawatts of new wind facilities to its power production portfolio (Case No. U-18231). Included in the added 525 megawatts are two proposed 175 megawatt wind projects that would begin operation this year and next.

 

The Commission cited unrealistically high cost projections in rejecting Consumers’ plan to add 100 megawatts of solar facilities, which were expected to go online in 2024 and 2025. The MPSC said a final determination on the solar proposal will be made when it issues a decision in April on the integrated resource plan the company filed with the MPSC (Case No. U-20165).

 

The Commission also approved a development asset acquisition agreement allowing Consumers to buy the Gratiot Farms Wind Project (Case No. U-15805). Consumers expects to take over ownership before May 1 of the project developed by Tradewind Energy, Inc.

 

Consumers’ original renewable energy plan (Case No. U-17792) was approved in March 2016.