Electric Distribution Planning

MI Power Grid Optimizing Grid Investments & Performance Stamp

Electric distribution system infrastructure is aging, which can lead to frequent and long-lasting power outages, and can cause unsafe conditions for the public. Utility spending on improving the electric grid is growing. As technology improves and costs decline, customers and developers are increasingly interested in connecting their projects to the utility system. Distribution system plans provide stakeholders and the MPSC information about planned utility investments and allow for customer preferences to be considered as investments are made.


Actions to Date

The MPSC directed DTE Electric, Consumers Energy, and Indiana Michigan Power Company (through rate case Orders as linked below), to develop and submit five-year distribution investment and maintenance plans. The intent of this directive was to increase visibility into utility distribution system needs and facilitate a comprehensive review of long-term distribution planning by the Commission, MPSC Staff, and other interested parties, with more transparency than one-year outlooks in contested rate case proceedings. 

MPSC target is for utilities to publish new plans every two years with next plans issued beginning 2020


Next Steps

MPSC to provide guidance on second iteration of long-term distribution plans with new areas of emphasis:

  • Scenario analysis for load forecasts
  • Non-wires alternatives/hosting capacity pilots
  • Alternatives analysis framework (including non-wires alternatives)

Continued stakeholder activity will take place prior to the submittal of the next round of utility distribution plans which are scheduled for 2021. Utility representatives, subject matter experts, Commission staff and other interested stakeholders are invited to participate. These stakeholder sessions will feature discussions about distribution planning topics and examine issues raised in U-20147 as well as value of resilience in relation to proposed investments.


Distribution Stakeholder Planning Sessions

November 19, 2019

Agenda for Distribution Planning Stakeholder Information Session #5

October 16, 2019

Agenda for Distribution Planning Stakeholder Information Session #4
Recording for Distribution Planning Stakeholder Information Session #4
Presentations for Distribution Planning Stakeholder Information Session #4

September 18, 2019

Agenda for Distribution Planning Stakeholder Information Session #3 
Recording for Distribution Planning Stakeholder Information Session #3 
Presentations for Distribution Planning Stakeholder Information Session #3

August 14, 2019

Agenda for Distribution Planning Stakeholder Information Session #2 
Recording for Distribution Planning Stakeholder Information Session #2 
Presentations for Distribution Planning Stakeholder Information Session #2

June 27, 2019

Agenda for Distribution Planning Stakeholder Information Session #1 
Recording for Distribution Planning Stakeholder Information Session #1 
Presentations for Distribution Planning Stakeholder Information Session #1


Staff Lead

Pat Hudson


Initial Utility Distribution Plans

DTE Five-Year Distribution Plan 2018-2022

Consumers Energy Five-Year Distribution Plan 2018-2022

Indiana Michigan Five-Year Distribution Plan 


Related MPSC Case(s)


U-20147 Background

On April 12, 2018, in Case No. U-20147, the MPSC issued an order requiring DTE Electric and Consumers Energy to file their final distribution plans in that docket, asked for Staff and stakeholder comments on the final plan to be filed in the same docket, and required Staff to set up a technical conference to review comments. This technical conference took place on August 7, 2018. In a November 2018 order, the Commission addressed the Staff's September 1, 2018, recommendations and provided other guidance on the next round of distribution plans which are scheduled for the second quarter 2020. Staff will continue to engage stakeholders on these topics.  

Additionally, the MPSC ordered Indiana Michigan Power to submit a draft five-year distribution plan by October 31, 2018 and a final plan by May 1, 2019. Comments on this plan were submitted in the U-20147 docket. 

All comments throughout the process along with final distribution plans and Staff reports are available for review in the docket of Case No. U-20147.


Other Documents

MPSC Issue Brief Distribution Planning – October 11, 2017


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