MPSC Conditionally Approves Consumers Energy’s Request to Amend Its Renewable Energy Plan by Adding Community Solar Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 15, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today conditionally approved Consumers Energy Company’s request to amend its renewable energy plan by adding a community solar program. If adopted by the utility, it would be the first community solar program offered by a regulated electric utility in Michigan. Participants have the opportunity to purchase subscriptions in 0.5 kilowatt blocks and receive a bill credit for 25 years based on the amount of electricity generated by the solar installation.

The Commission directed the MPSC staff to convene a Solar Working Group within 30 days that includes representatives from the utility and other interested stakeholders.

The working group will specifically focus on a just and reasonable value of capacity in the “value of solar” (VOS) computation, considering capacity values in different contexts, including at minimum the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) annual auction, cost of new entry (CONE), Consumers Energy’s acquisition of capacity through private auction, embedded capacity costs, and tariffed costs for stand-by capacity. The VOS approach calculates a bill credit for solar energy.

By Sept. 30, the MPSC staff will file a report in this docket with recommendations for a more predictable and fair VOS calculation method. In addition, the working group should, for purposes of this project, consider a limited hosting capacity analysis to evaluate locations that have been identified as potential sites for community solar.

In addition, Consumers Energy Co. has been directed to file a progress report in 90 days, and every 90 days thereafter, on its community solar program. The reports shall include the number of subscribers, capital costs (cumulative), updated locational marginal price (LMP) and capacity market projections and projected renewable energy credit (REC) prices.

The MPSC is an agency within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Case No. U-17752

For more information about LARA, please visit www.michigan.gov/lara. Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/michiganLARA, “Like” us on Facebook or find us on YouTube www.youtube.com/michiganLARA.

Contact: Judy Palnau, 517-284-8300

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