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MPSC takes next steps in review of 2021 storm outages
March 03, 2022
Media contact: Matt Helms 517-284-8300
Customer Assistance: 800-292-9555
The Michigan Public Service Commission took several new steps today in its ongoing review of how regulated utilities responded to a series of storms in August 2021 that left around a million Michiganders without electricity.
Storms that swept across the Lower Peninsula Aug. 10-12, 2021, brought winds gusts exceeding 70 mph, causing widespread damage to utility poles and lines. Some utility customers went more than a week without power. The Commission launched an inquest into the outages Aug. 25, addressing recommendations Gov. Gretchen Whitmer outlined in a letter to the Commission.
Having held two technical conferences and taken public comments during the MPSC’s inquiry, the Commission in Case No. U-21122 today directed MPSC Staff to:
- Consider filed comments and presentations pertaining to climate change during ongoing stakeholder proceedings in the MPSC’s MI Power Grid initiative in Case No. U-20633.
- Create a reporting template enabling the utilities to file updated information pertinent to reliability, outages and storm response, by Nov. 18, 2022. Reportable data will include existing annual and proposed reliability metrics, as well as data on outage numbers and restoration times for each month and each storm, and monthly tree trimming data that includes the miles of power lines cleared and the amount spent on tree trimming. For data reported on storms, the Commission also seeks information on storm type, customers interrupted, storm duration and restoration in days, the amount of dollars spent for each storm event, dollars paid in customer outage credits, and mutual aid requests and expenses for each storm event. The Commission specifically seeks data by ZIP code, finding it especially useful to have that level of granularity with a potential move toward data submission by Census tract.
- Develop a new page on the MPSC’s website focused on distribution-system reliability, outages and storm response, as a dedicated resource for addressing those matters, by early 2023. The Commission envisions the page as a public resource for ratepayers and others to find the latest information on system reliability, with regularly updated data from regulated utilities.
At the request of Staff, the Commission also extended to May 27, 2022, the deadline for comments to be filed in response to the Commission’s Aug. 25 order related to Consumers Energy Co., DTE Electric Co. and Indiana Michigan Power Co. distribution plans and related questions in Case No. U-20147. Comments from interested parties must be received no later than 5 p.m. May 27 and can be mailed to Executive Secretary, Michigan Public Service Commission, P.O. Box 30221, Lansing, MI 48909. Electronic comments may be emailed to email@example.com. Comments must reference Case No. U-20147.
MPSC APPROVES PIPELINE EXPANSION TO ENSURE ACCESS TO PROPANE
The MPSC today approved two pipeline orders that will help ensure propane customers in central and northern Michigan will have access to stored propane in St. Clair County, improving market reliability and reducing truck traffic and emissions for the delivery of the home-heating fuel. The Commission approved an application by NGL Supply Terminal Co. LLC (Case No. U-21190) to construct and operate a pump station and 540-foot, 6-inch pipeline to interconnect to the company’s existing Ambassador Pipeline with a new pipeline being constructed by Marysville Hydrocarbons LLC. Marysville Hydrocarbons also was granted approval (Case No. U-21187) for the pipeline connecting its propane storage caverns in Marysville in St. Clair County to the Ambassador Pipeline; the new pipeline, known as the Ambassador Extension, will allow Marysville Hydrocarbons to receive propane for storage and deliver propane to NGL.
MPSC READOPTS RULES GOVERNING UNBUNDLED NETWORK ELEMENTS, PROVISION OF BASIC LOCAL EXCHANGE SERVICE CUSTOMER MIGRATION
The MPSC today readopted rules governing the provision of unbundled network elements and local interconnection services by incumbent local exchange phone service carriers to other providers in the provision of basic local exchange phone service (Case No. U-21078). The MPSC sought permission to readopt the rules in May 2021 with minor changes and has received all necessary approvals through the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules, Legislative Service Bureau and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. The Commission also formally adopted repromulgated rules for the provision of basic local exchange service customer migration (Case No. U-21079). The Commission began the approval process for the repromulgated rules, with minor changes, in June 2021 and has similarly received all necessary administrative approvals.
COMMISSION OKs DTE ELECTRIC CO.’S REVISED ADVANCED METER INFRASTRUCTURE OPT-OUT PROGRAM, FEES
DTE Electric Co.’s revised opt-out program for customers that object to advanced meter infrastructure was approved today (Case No. U-20837). The MPSC approved DTE Electric’s revisions that include reducing the initial opt-out fee to $40.69 from $67.20 while increasing its monthly opt-out fee by 2 cents to $9.82. The Commission also permitted DTE Electric to assess the monthly opt-out fee to 80 customers who have not allowed the company access to their property to replace obsolete analog meters with modern digital meters.
FUSION CLOUD SERVICES LLC GRANTED PERMANENT LICENSE TO PROVIDE BASIC LOCAL EXCHANGE TELEPHONE SERVICE
Fusion Cloud Services LLC was granted a permanent license today to provide basic local exchange telephone service throughout Michigan in all zone and exchange areas served by AT&T Michigan, Frontier North Inc., Frontier Midstates Inc. and Frontier Communications of Michigan Inc. (Case No. U-21149). Fusion Cloud Services must file a tariff identifying the services it will provide and the exchanges where they will be offered before it can begin providing service.
MPSC APPROVES CERTIFICATE OF PUBLIC CONVENIENCE AND NECESSITY FOR CONSUMERS ENERGY TO REPLACE, REROUTE PIPELINE IN CLINTON COUNTY
The MPSC approved Consumers Energy Co.’s application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for a natural gas pipeline that will replace and reroute the current Line 100B through Sleepy Hollow State Park in Clinton County (Case No. U-21179). The approval permits Consumers Energy to build and operate approximately 1.5-mile pipeline, 26-inch pipeline rerouted away from the park’s campground and beach area. It will run parallel to and along the same route as Line 100A, part of the Mid-Michigan Pipeline that the Commission approved in November 2020. The cost of the Line 100B project is expected to be just under $13 million.
To look up cases from today’s meeting, access the MPSC’s E-Dockets filing system.
Watch recordings of the MPSC’s meetings on the MPSC’s YouTube channel.
DISCLAIMER: This document was prepared to aid the public’s understanding of certain matters before the Commission and is not intended to modify, supplement, or be a substitute for the Commission’s orders. The Commission’s orders are the official action of the Commission.
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