The Next Time Someone Says Coal Is Bad

Even the bureaucrats understand an electric system that is fubar.

energyBreak out the blanket and paddles.

Folks speculate all the time whether ‘renewable energy’ is plausible enough to hit 10%, 15% etc. by a certain date.  We have had our governments propose and mandate certain dates are met with minimums of electricity being provided by ambiguous, as-yet-to-be-discovered sources to the point where our eyes bleed.

However, in the mean time, it seems someone is taking notice of the insufficient resources that only ‘magically clean’ will provide.  The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has somehow looked beyond the fools in Michigan’s political theater to address a looming reality. They are starting to actually ask the important questions.

And they are probably just starting to realize, our electric capacity is on borrowed time:

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today directed all regulated electric utilities, alternative electric suppliers (AESs), and certain power supply cooperatives and associations to file assessments of their abilities to meet their customers’ expected electric requirements for the years 2015 through 2019 by Feb. 17, 2015. The Commission’s investigation spans a five-year period because of the expected retirement of older generating units in the state as a result of new air quality requirements.

Today’s order also solicits comments from the Midcontinent Independent Transmission Operator (MISO), PJM Interconnection, and providers of transmission services in Michigan by March 9, 2015.

“This marks the first time the MPSC has directed utilities to provide assessments covering five years and asked AESs to do the same, in light of the expected capacity shortfalls in Michigan as early as 2016 and the time necessary to plan and arrange for new capacity supplies, including new generation and demand-side options,” noted MPSC Chairman John D. Quackenbush.

“With the expected retirements of several coal-fired power plants in the near future, the probability of electric outages resulting from potential shortages during peak load periods, extreme weather, equipment failures, or other system disruption increases. Prompt attention is required to ensure that capacity supplies are planned to reliably meet customer demands, including customers served by alternative electric suppliers. The assessments are intended to provide a meaningful and transparent picture of the supply outlook and associated risks for the state as a whole and for individual providers.”

Utility assessments are to:

  • Include the load-serving entity’s (LSE) expected peak demand, the resources available to meet peak demand, and the amount of expected reserves.
  • Justify the expected reserve margin in light of the LSE’s circumstances, including the reliability characteristics of its resource base and the characteristics and diversities of the customer load.
  • Distinguish between in-state and out-of-state generation resources and analyze how this generation is expected to serve customer demand and meet MISO capacity requirements.
  • Provide details regarding the actual deliverability of generation output and purchased power under peak operating conditions, and transmission capabilities and constraints or other factors such as pricing affecting deliverability or use of resources located in other regional transmission organizations (RTOs) or other resource zones within an RTO.
  • Identify all resources designated to meet reserve in sufficient detail to verify that no resource is credited more than once toward the planning requirements of one or more load-serving entities.

The complete list of assessment requirements is available in today’s order.

Today’s order also directs the MPSC staff to develop a uniformly formatted table with fields to populate with key data points that shall be made available promptly.

Persons wishing to comment on the filed assessments have until March 9 to do so. Comments referencing Case No. U-17751 may be e-mailed to All information submitted to the Commission in this matter will become public information, available on the Commission’s website, and subject to disclosure.

Case No. U-17751

Money quote in bold.

Of course this could be a the great big set up for some monster rate hikes.  Consider what the very same power providers were promoting several years ago.

Its not as if we didn’t warn anyone before.


You Betcha! (16)Nuh Uh.(1)

  2 comments for “The Next Time Someone Says Coal Is Bad

  1. Corinthian Scales
    December 9, 2014 at 9:41 am

    We're all kulaks. Simply substitute the word energy for the word grain, and there it is in a somewhat more civilized, black and white.

    You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
  2. Corinthian Scales
    December 17, 2014 at 7:42 am

    LANSING, Mich.
    Sep 19, 2008

    The Michigan Chamber of Commerce today applauded the Michigan Legislature for passing a much-needed comprehensive energy reform for Michigan.

    "By passing this legislation (House Bills 5524 and Senate Bill 213), the Michigan Legislature has set the framework to help build new energy sources in Michigan and ensure homeowners and business have access to safe, reliable and affordable energy," said Rich Studley, President & CEO of the Michigan Chamber. "We applaud Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, House Speaker Andy Dillon, and Governor Granholm for working together on this important economic development issue."

    "Getting the fundamentals of Michigan's economy right is a key factor in future economic growth for our state," noted Jim Holcomb, Vice President of Business Advocacy & Associate General Counsel for the Michigan Chamber. "Having reliable and affordable energy is an important requirement in moving Michigan forward."

    "A critically important element of this package for Michigan's job providers is returning to electric rates based on cost of service for industrial and commercial rate payers," explained Doug Roberts, Jr., Director of Environmental & Energy Policy for the Michigan Chamber. "Phasing out the subsidy paid by business customers over the next five years will provide over $350 million in rate relief. This much needed rate relief will help to make Michigan's electric rates for employers more competitive with other states."

    We applaud the following lawmakers for their leadership role in fashioning this legislation: Representatives: Frank Accavitti, Jr., Jeff Mayes, Mike Nofs and David Palsrok; and Senators Patty Birkholz and Randy Richardville.

    The Michigan Chamber also expresses its thanks to the following lawmakers for voting to support job providers on this important issue.


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