Phase I - Electric Distribution Planning
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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
On March 17, 2022, the Commission approved a settlement agreement in Case No. U-21097 where the parties to that case agreed that Northern States Power Company, a Wisconsin corporation (NSP-W) is required to work with the Staff and file a distribution system plan. Electric distribution investment and maintenance plans now will be filed by NSP-W, Alpena Power Company, Consumers Energy Company, DTE Electric Company, and Indiana Michigan Power Company.
Additional comments were filed by May 27, 2022 from Commission Staff and stakeholders regarding the 2021 filed electric distribution and maintenance plans from Consumers Energy Company, DTE Electric Company and Indiana Michigan Power Company per a U-20147 Commission order filed on March 3, 2022.
Additionally in the March 3, 2022 order, the Commission directed the Commission Staff to consider the comments and presentations pertaining to climate change, as filed in Case No. U-21122, as part of the ongoing stakeholder proceedings in the MI Power Grid initiative in Case No. U-20633; develop a webpage within the Commission’s existing website dedicated to distribution system reliability, customer outages, and storm response, to be completed in early 2023; and work with utilities in developing a template for the filing of additional information pertaining to distribution reliability, outages, and storm response, with the template to be finalized no later than November 18, 2022.
On December 22, 2021, the Commission approved a settlement agreement in Case No. U-21045 where the parties to that case agreed that Alpena Power Company, is required to work with the Staff and file a distribution system plan.
Also on December 22, 2021, Commission Staff filed a summary of the reconvened stakeholder session held on November 3, 2021 where subject matter experts Tim Woolf, Julie Michals and John Shenot addressed Benefit Cost Analysis for distribution planning.
On September 30, 2021, final electric distribution and maintenance plans were filed by DTE Electric Company and Indiana Michigan Power Company. Corresponding comments were filed by Commission Staff and several stakeholders.
On August 25, 2021, a Commission order was issued directing each investor-owned utility to file a report in Case No. U-21122 addressing its response to the August 2021 storm event. This order also encouraged comments on the electric distribution and maintenance plans recently filed in U-20147 by Consumers Energy Company (final plan), DTE Electric Company (draft plan), and Indiana Michigan Power Company (draft plan). Additionally, the order encouraged comment on the continued utilization of historical data in utility planning processes, and established the date for a Technical Conference on Emergency Preparedness, Distribution Reliability, and Storm Response.
On June 30, 2021, Consumers Energy Company filed their final electric distribution and maintenance plan in the U-20147 docket.
On August 20, 2020, in an order in the U-20147 docket, the MPSC provided further direction for utilities regarding the next filing of their electric distribution plans. The Commission ordered DTE Electric Co., Consumers Energy Co., and Indiana Michigan Power Co. to file second iterations of their distribution investment and maintenance plans by Sept. 30, 2021, with draft plans shared with stakeholders and Commission Staff by Aug. 1, 2021. (The filing date for the draft and final plans supersede the previous deadline established by the MPSC for June 30, 2021.)
The MPSC previously 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.
Continued stakeholder activity took place in 2019 from June through November. Utility representatives, subject matter experts, Commission staff and other interested stakeholders participated in the stakeholder process. These stakeholder sessions featured discussions about distribution planning topics and examined issues raised in case U-20147 as well as value of resilience in relation to proposed investments.
The Commission will consider the comments filed by Commission Staff and stakeholders on May 27, 2022 as well as the previous comments filed in the Fall of 2021. The Commission may choose to issue further direction to Consumers Energy Company, DTE Electric Company and Indiana Michigan Power Company regarding the next iterations of electric distribution and maintenance planning documents.MPSC Staff will work with Alpena Power Company and NSP-W regarding of each of the companies’ first electric distribution and maintenance plan filings.
Staff Report Timeline
December 16, 2019: Additional comments due from stakeholders for inclusion in staff report
February 19, 2020: Deadline for draft staff report
Draft Staff Report
March 5, 2020: Deadline for stakeholder comments on draft staff report due
Consumers Energy Comments
ELPC and Vote Solar Comments
Indiana Michigan Comments
Michigan EIBC and AEE Comments
April 1, 2020: Final staff report deadline
Final Staff Report
Distribution Stakeholder Planning Sessions
November 3, 2021
November 19, 2019
October 16, 2019
September 18, 2019
August 14, 2019
June 27, 2019
2021 Utility Distribution Plans
Initial Utility Distribution Plans
Related MPSC Case(s)
- U-20633 (IRP/Distribution/Transmission Plan Alignment)
- U-20147 (Distribution Planning)
- U-20464 (Statewide Energy Assessment)
- U-17990 (Consumers Rate Case Order)
- U-18014 (DTE Electric Rate Case Order)
- ?U-18370 (Indiana Michigan Power Rate Case Order)
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.