Michigan seeks public comment on expanding renewable energy use in state


The Michigan Public Service Commission has issued a new draft report on its renewable energy goals for the state. State officials are seeking public comment on the report which was compiled from answers submitted by the public on the Ensuring Michigan’s Energy Future website. 40 questions were presented on the website and citizens submitted 425 responses.

Michigan’s current Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires electric providers to ramp up their use of renewable energy in order to obtain 10% of their electricity sales from renewable resources in 2015. The state is on track to meet those goals, and is now looking toward the future and how to incorporate more renewables into the mix.

Michigan first took up this standard in 2008, and at that time the state had low use of renewable energy sources in their portfolio. Since then, as the use of renewables has increased costs are evening out with traditional sources of energy and many Michigan households are getting their power from wind. Based on this, the report says they could easily raise the RPS to 30% from existing renewable energy sources in the state.

Michigan is part of two multi-state energy markets, which means the state could share services or even sell energy in both of those markets.

The report examines a broad range of renewable energy types including wind, solar, biomass, and hydroelectric. Energy comparisons are also made between other states in the Midwest, and looks at how changing up this mix could be beneficial for the region as a whole. Officials have opened a public comment period on the report and are expected to issue a finalized plan in the coming months.