A Michigan nonprofit has identified nearly 80 brownfield sites in the Upper Peninsula that could host the development of more than 750 megawatts of solar.
Threats to close nuclear plants in Illinois and New York triggered hundreds of millions of dollars in annual subsidies to keep the plants open in a last-gasp reprieve to save the jobs, taxes and carbon-free energy they produce.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says recent energy legislation in the state “was one of the finest illustrations of good, bipartisan and broad-based work I’ve seen in my time as governor.”
Lawmakers in three Midwest legislatures closed out their 2016 lame-duck sessions with plans to both expand as well as slow clean energy development.
Local officials in Traverse City voted Monday to become the second Michigan city looking to meet 100 percent of municipal electricity needs from renewable sources.
Discussions on how to improve reliability and lower costs in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula may be overlooking some key opportunities, according to experts following the issue closely.
Less than 24 hours after Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed off on a plan to subsidize two nuclear plants for billions of dollars over the next 10 years, energy companies in Michigan announced plans to close one of the state’s three plants as a way to protect ratepayers. Entergy’s decision to close the Palisades plant in 2018 — by cutting short a power-purchase agreement with Consumers Energy that was to expire in 2022 — is a strong contrast to the protracted debate in Illinois over whether to subsidize unprofitable nuclear plants there. Unlike in Illinois, Entergy and Consumers officials have no plans to push for such a ratepayer subsidy in Michigan. They say closing Palisades, which has faced multiple safety violations over the past several years, is the more financially prudent option. “We do not believe there would be support in Michigan for legislation that would subsidize nuclear and have no plans to push for that,” said Entergy spokesperson Patricia Kakridas.
The operator of one of Michigan’s nuclear plants will shut it down earlier than expected after reaching an agreement with Consumers Energy to cut its power purchase agreement short.
Michigan’s three nuclear plants appear to be on solid financial footing at least through 2021 — a notable contrast from other states where nuclear power has struggled to compete with low natural gas prices.
Michigan’s 2008 law requiring utility spending on energy efficiency programs continued to exceed targets in 2015, surpassing goals for cutting electric and natural gas use by roughly 20 percent and proving to be a good investment for ratepayers.