MPSC seeks comments on developing new interconnection rules

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MPSC seeks comments on developing new interconnection rules

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Nov. 8, 2018

Contact: Nick Assendelft 517-284-8300
Customer Assistance: 800-292-9555
www.michigan.gov/mpsc
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LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today asked for stakeholder input on developing new rules governing interconnection agreements for utility customers who produce their own electricity.

Administrative rules have been in place since 2009, but rapidly changing renewable energy technology and the implementation of state energy laws which went into effect in April 2017 have prompted the Commission to revisit the regulations. Other factors influencing the review are updated technical standards for interconnection by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ordering regional transmission organizations to develop market rules for integrating energy storage facilities.

Consequently, the MPSC is considering in Case No. U-20344 rescinding its interconnection rules and proposing new ones that encompass the technological developments and revised standards for distributed generation and legacy net metering, as well as establishing a legally enforceable obligation (LEO) under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA).

Commission staff will lead discussions that will include issues such as interconnection request procedures and timelines; required interconnection studies; cost responsibility; safety and technical specifications; legal responsibilities and obligations between interconnecting parties and electric providers; the recent updates to IEEE’s standards; FERC’s interconnection procedures; interconnection of distributed generation (including generation with capacity), microgrids, and energy storage; and legacy net metering.

The meeting dates, times, and agendas will be filed in the case docket.

Other rulings today:

Consumers, landowners appeal denied in pipeline case: Consumers Energy Co. and 20 landowners were granted the right to appeal an administrative law judge’s ruling that blocked them from intervening in ZFS Ithaca, LLC’s request before the Commission for approval of a new pipeline (Case No. U-20198). The appeal, however, was denied and the Commission upheld the law judge’s intervention ruling. The Commission did encourage the landowners and Consumers Energy to submit comments in the proceeding. ZFS proposes building an approximately 17-mile natural gas pipeline in Gratiot County from the TransCanada Pipeline Meter Station in Wheeler Township to the ZFS processing facility in North Star Township.

I&M approved for PEV charging tariff: Indiana Michigan Power Co. was approved for a new tariff under a pilot program for electric vehicle owners that will change how usage is metered, but not change rates (Case No. U-20282). The plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) tariff will allow for a submetering option to measure PEV charging load. A customer’s bill, based on measurements from a primary meter, would then be adjusted up or down depending on time-of-use calculations on when they charge their PEV.

Obsolete streetlights to be replaced: Consumers Energy Co. can close its General Service Unmetered Lighting Rate GUL tariff to any new metal halide streetlight requests (Case No. U-18205). The utility said metal halide lights are considered obsolete and new federal rules call for more efficient lights, such as light-emitting diode (LED) technology. Consumers says any remaining metal halide lights will be replaced with LEDs.

Two telecommunications licenses granted: Teliax Inc. and Great Lakes Energy Connections, Inc. were approved for permanent licenses to provide basic local exchange service under the Michigan Telecommunications Act (MTA). Teliax (Case No. U-20288) seeks to offer phone services throughout Michigan in areas covered by AT&T Michigan, Frontier North, Inc., and Frontier Midstates Inc. Great Lakes (Case No. U-20256) would operate in 117 exchanges served mainly by AT&T Michigan and Frontier North.

To look up cases from today’s meeting, access the eDockets filing system here.

To watch a livestream of the MPSC’s meetings, click here.

For information about the MPSC, visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc, sign up for one of its listservs, or follow the Commission on Twitter.

DISCLAIMER: This document was prepared to aid the public’s understanding of certain matters before the Commission and is not intended to modify, supplement, or be a substitute for the Commission’s orders. The Commission’s orders are the official action of the Commission.

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