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MPSC Technical Conference on Emergency Preparedness, Distribution Reliability, and Storm Response
Beginning on August 10, 2021, a series of severe thunderstorms hit Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas. The severe weather caused widespread damage and resulted in power outages impacting more than 1 million Michigan utility customers. While the Commission has taken many steps over the last several years to focus on issues of reliability, resilience, and readiness, the continued extreme weather has posed significant challenges to the system resulting in many outages.
On August 25, 2021, the Michigan Public Service Commission (the Commission) issued an order opening MPSC Case No. U-21122 seeking to collect additional data from Michigan's investor owned utilities on several issues related to reliability work as well as seeking to better understand planning and restoration efforts related to the August 2021 storms. The Commission order also directed the investor-owned utilities to provide information regarding the costs and benefits of moving overhead electrical lines underground. Additionally, the Commission invited comment from interested stakeholders on the utility distribution plans filed in MPSC Case No. U-20147. The Commission also invited comments regarding whether the planning process used by the utilities and the Commission which focuses on historical data is sufficient in an era of increasingly severe weather. Finally, the Commission announced in its order that it would host a Technical Conference on Emergency Preparedness, Distribution Reliability, and Storm Response.
The Technical Conference was held in two parts with part one taking place on Oct. 22, 2021 and part two occurring on November 5, 2021.