Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
February 1, 2019
Chairwoman Sally A. Talberg
Michigan Public Service Commission
7109 W. Saginaw Highway
Lansing, MI 48917
RE: Request of statewide review of supply and deliverability of natural gas, electricity and propane and contingency planning
On Wednesday, January 30, 2019, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) issued a maximum generation event and declared conservative operations through Thursday, January 31, 2019 for the region because of forced generation outages and higher-than-forecasted load due to the record-low temperatures. In doing this, Michigan’s incumbent utilities, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy, were told to ask their customers with interruptible rates to conserve energy. The combination of this event and a fire at the Consumers Energy Company’s largest natural gas storage and delivery facility, lead to disruption and forced the utilities to make broad requests to all ratepayers for voluntary reductions of electric and natural gas usage.
I am requesting that the Michigan Public Service Commission review the supply, engineering, and deliverability of Michigan’s natural gas, electricity and propane. This review should include at least the following:
After this assessment, the Commission should complete an initial report by July 1, 2019 that evaluates if the systems are adequate to account for changing system conditions and extreme weather events and identifies recommendations to mitigate risk and ensure safe, reliable. Upon the final report, the Commission should direct the utilities to take appropriate action to address any shortfalls highlighted in the report including but not limited to recommendations around changes to energy planning criteria and approaches, regulatory review, and proposed oversight improvements.
Climate change is producing record-setting temperatures and increasing extreme weather events. With these changes, the state needs to be prepared and Michigan’s utilities need to ensure the production and delivery of safe, stable, and reliable energy to all Michiganders. Ensuring that Michigan has safe, dependable energy is key to our quality of life and our economy. We must ensure we have a resilient and reliable grid with adequate generation without ratepayers shouldering heavy costs or exposing citizens to negative health or environmental impacts.
Thank you in advance for your attention to this request.
Norman J. Saari, Commissioner, Michigan Public Service Commission
Dana Nessel, Attorney General, State of Michigan