Integrated Resource Planning returns to Michigan
On March 10 the Michigan Public Service Commission, the Michigan Agency for Energy, and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality held a meeting in Lansing to launch Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) in Michigan. The renewed interest in IRP is the result of a new state law (PA 341 Section 6T) that requires the commission to initiate a process that establishes a framework for a utility’s IRP within t 120 days of the effective date (April 20). There were more than 60 interested parties in attendance, including DNV GL. The State’s four largest utilities, DTE Energy (DTE), Consumers Energy (CE), Indiana Michigan Power (IMP) and the Lansing Board of Water and Light (BWL) presented their respective company’s current planning activities. The requirement for IRP opens the utility planning process to stakeholder engagement, and this meeting was the first step in deciding how to proceed.
Ms. Sally Talberg, Michigan Public Service Commission Chairman, kicked off the meeting by referencing the recent wind storm that clearly demonstrated the need for reliable electricity. Ms. Talberg indicated that the new process would provide a cohesive way to look out into the future and allow robust analysis and stakeholder engagement. She indicated that while the process would be utility-specific, there would be a mechanism to take a holistic look at the energy needs of the entire state. She emphasized the need for input from all perspectives to ensure that an informed decision could be made.
Mr. Paul Proudfoot, MPSC staff, discussed the history of IRP, beginning with work done by the Northwest Power Planning Council in the early 1980s. Mr. Proudfoot referenced the Michigan Electricity Options Study (MEOS) of 1986-87 that attempted to put demand-side options on a level playing field with their supply side alternatives. I was a utility representative in the MEOS proceeding and couldn’t help but feel a bit of déjà vu relating to this newest chapter. Mr. Proudfoot referenced the Capacity Needs Forum of 2005-06 and the 21st Century Energy Plan of 2007. He indicated that the utility IRP needed to include:
- Planning Process and Modeling
- Forecast and Supply Resources
- Demand Resources
- Scenarios and Risk Analysis
He also emphasized the need for the IRP cycle to be an inclusive process that included all perspectives.
Following Mr. Proudfoot, each of the utilities presented an overview of their proposed IRP approach. The approaches were all similar, with DTE and CE using the Strategist model in their IRP planning process and IMP/AEP using PLEXOS. After the DTE Energy and Consumers Energy presentations, Dr. Marty Kushler, ACEEE, asked each utility to describe their planned stakeholder process. Both utilities indicated that their respective companies were in the process of discussing how best to include stakeholder input. In contrast, IMP and BWL described a robust stakeholder engagement process. BWL presented the results of their most recent IRP which included direct stakeholder input and review. In addition, BWL has been running commercials on local television stations describing the output of their IRP plan, which includes a coal plant retirement, investments in additional gas supply, renewable energy, and energy waste reduction, i.e., energy efficiency, helping BWL become Michigan’s cleanest electric utility.
Following a short break, Mike Byrne, Michigan Agency for Energy and Darrell Slaughter, MPSC, presented a general information session on PA341 6T. Cathy Cole of MPSC wrapped things up with a discussion of plans for moving forward with a formal proceeding launching on August 18, 2017 with proposed modeling scenarios and assumptions posted by December 18, 2017. The meeting closed with a solicitation of the members in the audience to join one of several working groups. The first working group meetings are scheduled for Friday, March 17, 2017, and include the Energy Waste Reduction and Demand Response working groups, respectively. Other proposed working groups include:
- Environmental Policies,
- Renewable Energy and PURPA,
- Forecasting, Fuel Prices, Reliability, Costing, etc.
- FERC, MISO, and PJM
- Other Market Options (Energy Storage, IPP, BTMG, etc.), and
- Filing Requirements.
DNV GL staff plans to actively engage in the process and are currently signed up to participate in the Energy Waste Reduction and Demand Response working groups. Time will tell whether the framework for stakeholder engagement is successful in bringing a diverse perspective to the State’s future utility plans.