Mutual Aid Agreements and Transmission Contingency Planning Workgroup

In an order dated September 11, 2019, the Michigan Public Service Commission opened docket U-20631 and directed the Staff to establish a collaborative group consisting of Staff experts, representatives from Consumers Energy Company, DTE Energy Company, Michigan Electric and Gas Association member utilities, other natural gas distribution and transmission companies, and other interested stakeholders.  The Mutual Aid Agreements and Transmission Contingency Planning Workgroup is collaboratively working to review and discuss the development of mutual aid agreements for all natural gas distribution utilities, and how best to facilitate the development of gas transmission contingency planning.  The Commission noted, in the final Statewide Energy Assessment report, that mutual assistance agreements for natural gas utilities could result in improvements to safely restore natural gas service as expeditiously as possible.

The Commission finds that these topics should be divided into separate distribution and transmission phases, I and II respectively.  A report to the docket with Phase I findings due March 30, 2020 and Phase II findings due March 30, 2021.

Vision

During the aftermath of an emergency event, natural gas service to customers is safely restored as expeditiously as possible.

Mission

To coordinate and optimize the review of current mutual aid agreements, discuss the development of stronger mutual aid agreements, and how best to facilitate the development of gas transmission contingency planning.  The collaboratives shall also review and discuss issues related to small versus large operators, and whether utility tariffs should be revised.

Phase I - The focus of the distribution collaborative group shall be:

  • To review and study existing gas distribution mutual aid agreements;
  • Determine if all natural gas utilities are adequately prepared with existing agreements;
  • Discuss the possibility of agreements for Michigan utilities;
  • Address issues with employee qualifications; and
  • Develop recommendations for the Commission’s consideration and file a report to the docket by March 31, 2021.

Phase II - The focus of the transmission collaborative group shall be:

  • To review and study existing natural gas transmission contingency planning;
  • Determine if all natural gas pipeline operators are adequately prepared to deal with outages in the transmission system;
  • Discuss the need for policy and/or agreements between natural gas pipeline operators; and
  • Develop recommendations for the Commission’s consideration and file a report to the docket by March 31, 2021.

MPSC Staff Contacts

Kevin Spence, MPSC
Nyrhe Royal, MPSC

Meeting Agendas and Presentations

March 3, 2020

Meeting Event

January 10, 2020

Agenda | Attendees

December 6, 2019

Agenda

Workgroup Documents

Mutual Aid Agreements

Historic Mutual Aid Events

Historic Mutual Aid Workshop Presentations

U-20631 Order initiating collaborative

Notification to Propane Distribution Operators

Invitation to Natural Gas Operators and Stakeholders

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