to create new energy agency
Gov. Rick Snyder announced in his State of the State address in
January the creation of a new agency to coordinate environmental,
economic and regulatory issues around energy.
The as-yet unnamed agency will combine various functions of the
Department of Environmental Quality, the Public Service Commission,
the department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and the Energy
Office of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Currently, the PSC regulates gas, electricity and
telecommunications markets, while the DEQ regulates environmental
compliance. The Energy Office heads the state's energy efficiency
The move is expected to improve cross-agency communications as the
state is expected to amend electricity legislation this spring, including
renewable portfolio and energy efficiency standards.
energy message due in March
2012 Gov. Snyder released his "special message on energy and
the environment" in which he announced his four
"pillars" of a "no regrets" energy policy:
affordability, reliability, adaptability and the environment. The
2015 version is due in March.
Gov. Snyder has not released details, but he has said the state
needs to wean itself from coal and use more natural gas: a resource
No details to date on when he will deliver that message.
in Lansing are starting to worry whether we'll have enough power
available beginning next year as coal plants start to shut
down because of new air standards. Biomass power isn't going
anywhere. We'll keep the lights on for you -- and your air
conditioners. Read our blog for the whole story.
power deal struck
from onerous "must run" costs of operating an old
coal plant could be coming to the Upper Peninsula this summer.
In January the State of Michigan brokered a deal between the mining
company, Cleveland Cliffs, We Energy, the Upper Peninsula Power
Company and other interests that will stem the cost of operating
the outdated Presque Isle coal plant in Marquette and replace it by
2020 with a new gas plant.
Last year the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the
Mid-Continent Independent System Operator plan to levy about $100
million in added costs on UP electric customers to keep the coal
plant open and power flowing across the UP.
The crisis developed when the mines, which represented about 85 %
of UP power demand, opted to take power from an alternative
energy provider, causing We Energy to announce plans to close the
431-MW Presque Isle plant, leaving UP power supply in a bind.
Details still have to be worked out.
Read more at Midwest
Energy, and Upper
U of M
study says more renewable possible
A study from the
University of Michigan says it won’t cost a lot to expand Michigan
The report released last week says it would cost the
average ratepayer $2.60 per month to hit a 25-by-25 target.
The study covers three
scenarios -- 20 by 30, 25 by 25 and 40 by 35, ranging I costs from
$1.70 a month $6.70 a month respectively.
Read more at Midwest
$934.6 billion nationwide, report says
the new categorization system developed by the U.S. Census Bureau,
biomass power generation achieved $934.6 million in revenues in
report says the U.S. had 105 biomass power plants in 2012,
with California having the most, followed by Virginia where
Dominion Power has been converting coal plants to biomass. Northern
Virginia Electric Co-op built a 50-MW plant in New Boston.
The report pegged annual biomass payroll at $128 million,
Read more at Biomass
Magazine. Additional information on the Census Bureau’s
biomass power data is available on the bureau’s website.