DTE's wind-only option spurs Michigan regulators to approve revised green pricing program
- The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) last week approved DTE Electric's revised voluntary green pricing program after the utility addressed concerns over its cost, pricing transparency, enrollment cap and other issues.
- Under the MIGreenPower program, customers who want their electricity generated by wind and solar will pay a subscription fee of $0.072/kWh, while an all-wind subscription would cost $0.052/kWh. Once the program is 75% subscribed, regulators say more resources can be added.
- Last year, DTE and Consumers Energy, the state's two largest utilities, announced they would be "targeting at least a 50% clean energy goal by 2030." DTE also proposed doubling its renewable capacity by 2022, largely through the addition of large scale wind resources.
The MPSC in October ordered DTE to make changes to MIGreenPower, and regulators say the utility successfully addressed a variety of issues, from concerns about costs, particularly for marketing and administration, to a lack of expansion plans.
The utility also made changes to improve price transparency, give customers more options, and eliminate a 150,000 MWh enrollment cap that had been proposed. DTE will also produce a three-year forecast and, when it indicates the program will be at least 75% subscribed the company "will implement plans to add resources to the program," the commission said.
The commission said the addition of the lower-cost, wind-only alternative "will be an attractive option for customers who wish to purchase renewable energy above the 15% already required under the renewable portfolio standard but also wish to see a lower impact on their monthly utility bills."
"The commission's cost concerns have been adequately addressed by the addition of the wind-only option and replacing expensive renewable generation with less expensive generation is not necessary at this time given the current subscription level of the program," the PSC wrote. But regulators added that the commission "will look closely" at DTE's plans to add renewable resources in a future review.
To aid regulators in those reviews, the commission ordered DTE Electric to produce a semi-annual report that includes revenue cost, forecasting and marketing data regarding the performance and evolution of MIGreenPower.
A similar voluntary green pricing pilot for DTE's industrial and larger commercial customers was approved by regulators in January.
Correction: A previous version of this story contained the incorrect cost for DTE's wind-only option, due to an error in the Michigan PSC press release announcing approval of the revised green tariff. The cost is $0.052/kWh.
- Michigan Public Service Commission Order
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