MPSC directs electric utilities to file assessments on meeting customer demand over next five years

January 12, 2017

Contact: Judy Palnau, 517-284-8300
Agency: Michigan Public Service Commission

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today directed all Michigan-regulated electric utilities to file, by April 21, assessments of their ability to meet their customers’ expected electric requirements in the 2017 through 2021 timeframe. While the MPSC has initiated annual investigation into the adequacy and reliability of the electric generation capacity for meeting customer requirements since 1998, this marks the third consecutive year that the MPSC has required these utilities to file assessments spanning five years.

“The Commission is responsible for planning to ensure future supplies of electricity are available to meet customers’ needs,” said MPSC Chairman Sally Talberg. “We are directing Michigan utilities to submit detailed information on how they intend to meet future electric demand over a five-year period. This is especially important in light of unprecedented power plant retirements in the state and region and the time needed to plan and arrange for new capacity supplies, including new generation and options to reduce demand. Year after year, the information provided as part of this effort has proven to be invaluable as the MPSC carries out its responsibility to make sure Michigan’s electric resources are adequate to meet customer demand now and in the future.”

Today’s order (Case No. U-18197) also asks alternative electric suppliers to file similar assessments by April 21. In addition, the MPSC asks that Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO), PJM Interconnection, American Transmission Company, LLC, the Michigan Electric Transmission Company, and International Transmission Company submit comments by May 12 on the issues they believe are most relevant to this investigation.

Public comments on the assessments and/or any suggestions on potential capacity needs in Michigan must be filed by May 12.

In its order, the MPSC also directed the MPSC staff to file a report on its review of the data and the overall capacity outlook for the state and areas within the state by June 30.

The complete list of assessment requirements is available in today’s order.

Additional MPSC actions today include:

Case No. U-18121: The MPSC approved a settlement agreement directing Direct Energy Services, LLC to pay a fine of $35,000 within 30 days.

Under the terms of the settlement, the company will continue a moratorium on door-to-door sales that began on Nov. 1 for at least 90 more days. The company will submit new training materials within 45 days and provide actual training of the company’s Michigan agents within 90 days, among other things.

On July 22, the MPSC directed the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) staff, on behalf of the MPSC, to conduct an investigation into the alleged unauthorized switching of natural gas customers by Direct Energy Services, LLC.

Case No. U-18194: The MPSC approved a settlement agreement dealing with Consumers Energy Company’s long-term power purchase contracts that will provide the electricity needed to avoid a projected capacity shortfall by the company for the 2017 planning year. According to the terms of the settlement, the parties agree Consumers Energy acted reasonably for the benefit of its customers to purchase the required electric capacity; the utility reasonably executed the capacity contracts before MPSC approval to assure continued availability of capacity; and Consumers Energy’s agreement to purchase capacity from its affiliate followed a fully market-based blind auction conducted by an independent third party.

Case Nos. U-18197, U-18121 and U-18194

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