From:                              Michigan Biomass <information=michiganbiomass.com@mail100.atl91.mcsv.net> on behalf of Michigan Biomass <information@michiganbiomass.com>

Sent:                               Wednesday, August 12, 2015 8:39 AM

To:                                   Gary

Subject:                          News & Information on Biomass Power

 

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hot off the press

 

Biomass supported in Clean Power Plan rules

Biomass can be part of state implementation plans to comply with the Clean Power Plan, according to the final rules released Aug. 3 by the U.S. EPA.

The measure recognizes biomass as an important part of the nation's climate change initiative and provides opportunities for the biomass industry to continue provide renewable power along with rural jobs and forest stewardship.

The rules also acknowledge the ability of individual states to determine the sustainability requirements for eligible biomass feedstocks based on the state's unique resources.


The final rules differ from proposed rules issued last year. The deadline for state implementation plans and the first year of compliance have been extended by two years (2018 and 2022 respectively). There are off ramps for and reduced penalties for coal plants that have to keep running for reliability reasons, and energy efficiency targets have been eliminated because they're difficult to administer and enforce at a federal level. However, states are being encouraged to look at reduced energy consumption as a means to help comply.

Incentives have been created for states adhering to the original time line.
 

Timber summit planned for October

The Michigan Timber Advisory Council is planning a timber summit for Oct. 28 in Lansing.

A follow-up to the 2013 summit, the tentative agenda will address forest products economics, export markets, workforce development, energy, and forest health and management.

Commissioner named

Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed a legislative staffer and former utility lobbyist Norm Saari to the Michigan Public Service Commission.

He replaces Commissioner Greg White whose commission expired the end of July.

Saari was most recently chief of staff for House Speaker Kevin Cotter (R-Mt. Pleasant). He spent 33 years with Consumers Energy Co. in public policy and community affairs, 25 of those in government affairs.
 

Wind push back continues

The push-back on more wind development in Michigan continued in July when the Huron County Board of Commissioners voted 4-3 to extend a moratorium on new turbines.

A 90-day moratorium ended July 29. The vote extended it another 90 days while the county planning commission considers a revised zoning ordinance that would tighten noise requirements.

Read more at the
Huron County View.
 


 

 

The Power of Wood is published quarterly by Michigan Biomass, a coalition that advocates for, and is supported by, the state's wood-fired power plants. Send questions, comments and inquiries to information@michiganbiomass.com

Generation capacity figures revised

A regional transmission organization has revised downward its projections for a generation capacity shortfall that has been at the center of much of the state's energy debate for the past year.

Earlier this year the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) projected that in 2016 and 2017 the ability of Zone 7, or the Lower Peninsula, to meet its summer peak reserve margins would be about 3000 MW short. A MISO survey of available capacity conducted earlier this year has caused the organization to revise its 2016 project to a 1700 MW surplus.

On July 19 staff for the Michigan Public Service Commission issued a memorandum that echoed MISO's findings, saying that even if the region falls short of having enough physical generation, that the ability to import power from other regions within MISO could easily provide enough access to power to meet summer reserve margins through 2019.

The forecaster shortfall has been at the center of energy policy debate in which some sectors, including regulated utilities, said it was necessary to build new power plants to ensure reliable service during times of peak demand, such as the hottest days of the summer.


Click here to read the PSC report.
 

Energy bills introduced

Hearings have begun in the Michigan senate on a pair of bills that would dramatically change the electricity marketplace in the state.

SB 437 was introduced by Sen. Mike Nofs (R-Battle Creek), chair of the Energy and Technology Committee. It proposes to change how new power plants would be approved by the PSC, and make changes to the electric choice market by restricting access to those already approved to buy from alternative energy suppliers and those on a waiting list.

SB 438, sponsored by Sen. John Proos (R-St. Joseph), majority vice chair of the committee, would eliminate mandatory renewable portfolio standards, alter then repeal energy efficiency standards, and increase the size limitations and lower prices for owners of distributed energy systems that provide power to the grid, such as homes or business with small solar systems.

House bills were introduced last winter. They would "plateau" the 10% RPS requirement until sunset in 2029, end energy efficiency mandates and eliminate customer choice.

 

 

 

Members of Michigan Biomass visited members of Congress in May as part of a Capitol Hill fly-in with the Biomass Power Association. They are Dustin Miller, Mid-Michigan Recycling; Gary Melow, Michigan Biomass; David Dunbar, Cadillac Renewable Energy; and Mike Bean, Grayling Generating Station

 

 

Utilities pledge $10B 'buy Michigan'

Consumers Energy Co. and DTE Energy have announced plans to spend $10 billion with Michigan companies over the next five years.

 

That’s a billion more than they plan to spend over the current five-year plan.

Gov. Snyder joined the utility executives in making the announcement at a Small Business Administration event last week. Read more in MLive.
 

State paper production capacity shrinks

Georgia-Pacific has announced it’s closing a plant in Parchment in southwest Michigan that makes paper food wrapping.

 

The closure will idle 11 full time and 26 contract workers, and takes the last papermaking operation out of southern Michigan.
 

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