Michigan PSC orders transmission report

Michigan regulators ordered state electric utilities to assess near term electrical generation capacity and the effect potential transmission constraints could have on the competitive market. For the fourth consecutive year, the Michigan Public Service Commission is requiring Consumers Energy Co., Detroit Edison Co., and Indiana Michigan Power Co. (I&M), and their affiliates, to submit the results to the agency.


Michigan regulators ordered state electric utilities to assess near term electrical generation capacity and the effect potential transmission constraints could have on the competitive market.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Michigan Public Service Commission is requiring Consumers Energy Co., Detroit Edison Co., and Indiana Michigan Power Co. (I&M), and their affiliates, to submit the results to the agency.

The commission said its order expands the scope of previous inquiries in light of specific concerns that have arisen since the companies filed capacity assessments for 2000 and since passage of the Customer Choice and Electricity Reliability Act June 3.

The order was expanded in recognition of the indispensable role that transmission capabilities will play in the transition to retail open access, the commission said, and will focus on the adequacy of supply and quality and reliability of service.

The commission ordered the utilities to file their plans for the year 2001 by Dec. 15, 2000.

To address potential constraints in the current transmission system and the effects of those constraints on alternative suppliers and open access customers, the commission ordered the utility companies to identify current transmission capabilities available to serve bundled retail customers, retail open access loads, and nonaffiliated alternative electric suppliers.

Consumers Energy, Jackson, provides electric service to more than 1.6 million customers statewide. Detroit Edison, Detroit, provides electric service to 2.1 million electric customers in southeastern Michigan. I&M, Fort Wayne, Ind., provides electric service to about 118,000 Michigan customers in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties.

The Michigan law includes full stranded cost recovery for state utilities and the ability to build new generation under a market power test without requiring divestiture of existing generation assets. The law also includes a rate freeze for all customers until 2004; a rate cap that extends to 2005 for small business customers and 2006 for residential electricity users; choice for all customers by 2002; upgrades in the electrical transmission system; anti-slamming and anti-cramming provisions; and a fund to assist low-income customers.

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