Notice: MI Power Grid meetings and all other MPSC workgroup meetings will be conducted via teleconference only until further notice. Please find remote access information for upcoming meetings on our calendar of events. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Utility companies use pilot projects to test new or experimental ideas. This helps utilities, stakeholders, and the MPSC learn what may work on a larger scale, as well as where to improve. Past pilot projects have involved energy waste reduction, electric vehicles, advanced metering infrastructure, and rates that vary based on when electricity is used. Having a standard process to evaluate pilot projects can help the MPSC and stakeholders decide whether expanding these programs is beneficial to customers.
First, the order clarified the Commission’s vision for future pilot programs. Future pilot programs should strive to meet the MI Power Grid goals to engage utility customers and other stakeholders to help integrate new clean energy technologies and optimize grid investments for reliable, affordable electricity service. Future pilot programs should also be cohesive with the Commission’s mission to protect the public by ensuring safe, reliable, and accessible energy and telecommunications services at reasonable rates for Michigan’s residents.
Second, the Commission will adopt a definition for the term “pilot” and implement objective criteria for evaluating pilot program proposals for both gas and electric utilities. Prior to adoption, the Commission requests stakeholders (including natural gas utilities and others that may not have participated in the workgroup) to file comments on Staff’s proposed definition and objective criteria presented in Exhibit A of the order.
Third, the order directed Staff to develop an online Michigan Pilot Directory to increase transparency and information sharing.
Lastly, instead of developing a new pilot review process, the order reaffirms currently available processes to review and approve pilot programs. These include ex parte proceedings and the energy waste reduction EWR plan proceedings which afford additional discretion and flexibility. However, the Commission is open to future proposals regarding potential new pilot program review procedures.
MPSC has approved previous pilot projects, including:
Staff will continue to communicate with utilities and other stakeholders regarding pilot related issues, including deadline reminders and updates.
This meeting has been postponed