MPSC approves pilot program to expand installation of electric vehicle chargers in Upper Peninsula
April 14, 2022
Media contact: Matt Helms 517-284-8300
Customer Assistance: 800-292-9555
The Michigan Public Service Commission today approved tariff changes and the creation of an accounting process through which Upper Peninsula Power Co. (UPPCO) will accelerate installation of electric vehicle chargers. It’s the first such utility vehicle electrification effort approved by the Commission for the UP as UPPCO seeks to meet growing customer demand for EV charging, alleviate range anxiety among EV owners and encourage tourism among EV drivers (Case No. U-21137).
The approval will allow UPPCO customers including municipalities and nonprofit agencies to access public funding to help defray the costs of installing EV chargers, including the $110 million for EV charging infrastructure that Michigan will receive through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The approval of UPPCO’s amended application allows the company to create a regulatory asset of up to $750,000 for at most three years to support its contribution toward EV chargers that its customers install with financial assistance from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy’s (EGLE) EV charger grant program. Under the program, EGLE funds one third of a charger’s costs, and utilities and customers also each pay a third.
UPPCO would seek to recover its costs in a future rate case, in which the company will provide a cost-benefit analysis. Approval of the requested tariff change will not increase the cost of service to customers.
In addition, today’s order approves UPPCO’s request to change its General Service Tariff (C-1 Tariff) to allow for expanded application of the tariff to allow participating customers to take electric service through a demand waiver through January 1, 2027. After the pilot ends, UPPCO would group EV chargers with dedicated service with similar usage type customers for future ratemaking purposes.
Approval also allows for funding for continued transportation electrification and for further study of how the growth in EVs could impact UPPCO’s electric grid. UPPCO said it would work with customers to identify potential EV charger locations to minimize potential distribution network upgrades. The company also will provide the MPSC an annual report in this docket providing details on EV chargers installed through the pilot program, a map of their locations, and use of chargers by month and season.
UPPCO, based in Marquette, serves about 52,000 customers in 10 counties in the central and western UP.
MPSC RESOLVES CONSUMERS ENERGY CODE OF CONDUCT VIOLATIONS, APPROVES AGREEMENT TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER ACCESS TO USAGE DATA
The MPSC today approved a settlement agreement with Consumers Energy Co. resolving violations of the Commission’s Code of Conduct (Case No. U-21116). In May 2019 the company self-reported non-compliance with certain provisions of the Code of Conduct, leading the MPSC to initiate a formal proceeding in September 2021. The settlement agreement approved today resolves this matter, and includes a number of measures to better protect customer information and improve the customer data sharing experience. Specifically, Consumers will make Green Button Download My Data and Connect My Data available to all residential and business customers in 2022, and will work to obtain certification for these offerings by the end of the year. The Green Button initiative is an industry-led effort to provide utility customers with easy and secure access to their energy usage information in a consumer-friendly and computer-friendly format. The settlement approved today also requires Consumers to take additional action to obtain informed consent from their customers before sharing certain data with its affiliates, among other provisions.
MPSC CLASSIFIES CROSWELL INTERCONNECTION AS DISTRIBUTION ASSET
The MPSC today issued an administrative determination that the proposed Croswell Interconnection that the City of Croswell plans to build to serve its municipal utility customers should be classified as a local distribution asset and not a transmission asset, pursuant to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) seven-factor test and previous Commission findings in similar cases (Case No. U-21089). The classification of the interconnection, a 7.5-mile, 120 kilovolt single-circuit radial line and its associated equipment that would run from a substation owned by International Transmission Company LLC. (ITC) to a proposed new substation to be built by the City of Croswell, has been a matter of dispute between DTE Electric Co., ITC and Croswell. Today’s order emanates from a complaint DTE Electric filed in January 2021 with FERC, which held the matter in abeyance while DTE Electric sought a decision from the MPSC on proper classification of the interconnection.
COMMISSION APPROVES CONSUMERS ENERGY GAS PIPELINE APPLICATION
The MPSC signed off on Consumers Energy Co.’s application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity, permitting the company to build and operate new natural gas pipelines connected to three new directional wells in its Cranberry Storage Field in northern Michigan’s Clare County (Case No U-21213). The Commission’s order today allows Consumers to reroute and extend its current Lateral 67E pipeline and build three new pipelines from the directional wells, a $3.2 million project. The project is expected to have minimal environmental impact on land use or habitat on the land on which it is located in Winterfield and Summerfield townships, owned by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and used by Consumers through an easement.
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.
# # #