Michigan Passes Sweeping Reforms to Statewide Energy Policy

On Wednesday, December 21, 2016, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed into law two bills to implement sweeping reforms to Michigan’s energy policy.  Senate Bill Nos. 437 and 438, now Public Act Nos. 341 and 342, respectively, overhaul Michigan electric utilities’ resource planning obligations, revise the state’s retail electric choice program, and increase the amount of renewable electricity utilities must purchase to serve their customers.

The second of the new laws, SB 438, revises Michigan’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to require electric providers obtain at least 12.5% of their electric supply from qualified renewable resources by 2019, ramping up to a target of 15% by 2021.  Previously, Michigan’s RPS required utilities to serve only 10% of their load with renewable resources.  The bill also expands the list of qualified renewable resources to include geothermal and pump storage.  Other reforms include the elimination of a restriction limiting utilities from procuring no more than 50% of their RPS obligation from their own generation, and new resource adequacy requirements for retail electric suppliers.

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