MPSC welcomes results of ITC Michigan study on lowest-cost areas for new clean energy sites
October 14, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Oct. 14, 2021
A study requested by the Michigan Public Service Commission and published by ITC Michigan, which operates electric transmission lines serving most of the Lower Peninsula, outlines locations where new sources of power generation could be built and interconnected with high-voltage transmission lines without the need for costly system upgrades.
The MPSC asked ITC Michigan conduct the hosting capacity study to help map where new sources of electricity generation could locate most affordably - important information for utilities, project developers and others to know as Michigan's transition to distributed and renewable sources of electricity picks up pace. ITC presented the study results to the Commission and will present the results to stakeholders at its Partners in Business meeting Oct. 19.
Thousands of new megawatts of new renewable energy are expected to be built over the next decade. The data will be used as part of the MPSC's MI Power Grid initiative, a multiyear effort the agency launched in 2019 to help guide Michigan residents and businesses through rapid changes in the energy industry as it transitions away from large, centrally located power plants to clean, geographically diffuse sources of electricity generation. The MPSC directed regulated electric utilities to file similar maps, focused on the electric distribution system, in the companies' distribution plans as part of MI Power Grid in Case No. U-20147.
Knowing how much and where new energy projects could be sited before requiring extensive and costly system upgrades can help guide the interconnection of lower carbon electric generation into the high voltage transmission system.
"It's critical for Michigan's energy future to have a view into the relative level of transmission upgrades required across the state, to help minimize the need for expensive upgrades and, ultimately, reduce costs for Michigan ratepayers," MPSC Chair Dan Scripps. "We thank ITC Michigan for this report, which will be valuable for all involved in planning new sources of energy generation."
"ITC is pleased to have partnered with the MPSC to conduct this hosting capacity study," said Simon Whitelocke, President of ITC Michigan. "We recognize the energy landscape in Michigan is changing and the results of this insightful study provide a data point with ensuring we have a strong, resilient grid in Michigan now and into the future. It also provides us with a holistic view of our electric system which aids in cost-effective and efficient solutions as we integrate more renewables onto the grid."
ITC Michigan is composed of two operating companies: ITCTransmission serving southeast Michigan, and Michigan Electric Transmission Company (METC) serving most of the rest of the Lower Peninsula. Both are subsidiaries of ITC Holdings Corp., the largest independent electricity transmission company in the U.S. with operations in seven states. ITC connects a variety of customers at transmission-level voltages.