UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WLUC) – Every day, thousands of Upper Michigan residents turn on their lights using Upper Michigan energy resources.
UMERC supplies power to 42,000 customers in central and western UP
Now its new 20-year plan seeks to expand its solar power. If approved, he wants to generate 100 megawatts of solar capacity.
“100 megawatts is roughly equivalent to powering 30,000 homes,” said Brendan Conway, spokesman for Upper Michigan Energy Resources.
Under Michigan law, every investor-owned utility company must submit a 20-year plan to the Michigan Public Service Commission. MPSC approves on many factors including price, reliability and clean power.
“These plans are really about balancing all of these different needs and priorities,” said Michigan Public Service Commissioner Tremaine Phillips. “For us, the most important element is to ensure that the path the utility decides to take is profitable.”
The plan still needs to be approved by the MPSC. If so, UMERC hopes to seek a location and complete the project within the next few years. The energy tariff would increase slightly in the first year.
“We expect the construction and purchase of the solar projects to add a slight increase,” Conway said. “The fuel for solar projects is the sun, so it’s free. In the long term, this really offers great price stability.
The plan includes energy and price projections for five, 10 and 15 years.
“These plans take into account expected fuel prices, energy demand, load growth, environmental regulations, availability of emerging technologies and energy efficiency,” Phillips said. “These plans incorporate all of these modeling and projections.”
From these models, UMERC developed plans to meet energy needs. On Tuesday, you have the opportunity to give your opinion on the plan. The commission is holding a public hearing at Fornetti Hall on Bay College’s West Campus in Iron Mountain from four to seven in the afternoon central time.
You can consult the complete proposed plan by clicking on here. If you cannot attend the meeting, call MPSC at 517-284-8090 to provide feedback.
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