Energy issues continued to be a prime focus of the Michigan policy discussion this week, with both the House and Senate energy committees holding hearings on separate issues and the Michigan Public Service Commission’s Solar Working Group continuing their work. On Tuesday afternoon, the Michigan Senate Energy and Technology Committee took testimony on the state’s Renewable Energy Standard. Michigan EIBC President Dan Scripps testified in support of increasing the current standard of 10% by 2015, noting that Michigan renewable energy firms are currently making investment and staffing decisions, and more certainty around state policy is needed. Other renewable energy businesses and associations also spoke in favor of expanding the current standard, including NextEra, Michigan Biomass, the American Wind Energy Association and Wind on the Wires. Opposing any increase in the renewable standard were the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association and the anti-wind group IICC.
Earlier that day, the House Energy and Technology Committee opened the door on the energy deregulation debate with a hearing on HB 5184, which would expand electric choice above the current 10% market cap. The Michigan Public Service Commission also held its third Solar Working Group meeting on Tuesday, focusing on utility ratemaking and featuring a joint presentation from Consumers Energy and DTE Electric on their solar power programs.
Michigan EIBC continues to be the voice of Michigan advanced energy industry in the Capitol, and we will continue to make sure the voices of our member companies are being heard.