Indiana Michigan Power’s Integrated Resource Plan (Filed August 14, 2019)
Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) serves 129,000 Michigan customers in the southwestern part of the state, although most of its nearly 600,000 customers are in Indiana.
The integrated resource plan (I&M) is intended to be a document that assesses various options to cost-effectively serve the electricity needs of customers over the next 20 years.
Indiana Michigan Power, U-20591
Highlights of this plan include:
-I&M’s preferred plan (the set of options that the utility believes is most reasonable to implement) projects building 2,700 megawatts of capacity from natural gas-fired power plants in stages over several years to replace the loss of three of I&M’s biggest sources of energy. The 770-megawatt unit 1 at the Rockport coal-fired plant retires in 2028. Then, the two reactors at the D.C. Cook nuclear plant, I&M’s single-biggest power plant, hit the end of their federal licenses in 2034 and 2037 respectively.
-Another coal-fired unit could close. I&M’s lease for Unit 2 at Rockport runs out at the end of 2022. I&M assumes that the plant will be available through May 2023, but after that, the IRP proposes using short-term market purchases of electricity to replace Rockport Unit 2. I&M notes, however, that this scenario is for planning purposes and a final decision about Rockport Unit 2 has not been made.
-Starting in 2022 I&M would start developing 3,600 megawatts of wind farms and utility-scale solar arrays. I&M currently owns 450 megawatts of wind capacity and just 14.7 megawatts of solar.
-The IRP proposes 50 megawatts of batteries to store energy and 54 megawatts of “micro- or mini-grid resources” by 2028.
-I&M’s preferred plan does not propose additional energy efficiency efforts to cut customer demand on top of existing efforts until 2033.
Who is Involved in the Legal Proceedings?
After an electric utility files their IRP, there is an opportunity for interested parties, including individual customers of the company, to weigh in on the plan. The MPSC takes this all into consideration as it makes its decision to approve the plan, recommend changes, or deny the plan.
The interveners in this case (as of September 2019) are:
- Attorney General Dana Nessel, the State of Michigan’s consumer advocate.
- Citizens Against Rate Excess (CARE), a nonprofit organization that represents residential ratepayers of investor-owned electric utilities in the U.P.
- Environmental Law & Policy Center, an environmental legal advocacy firm.
- The Sierra Club, a national environmental advocacy group.
- Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association, a group that represents businesses and individuals in Michigan that support promoting renewable energy.
- Vote Solar, a pro-solar grassroots campaign group.
- The Ecology Center, an Ann Arbor-based group.
How Can Individual I&M Residential Customers Get Involved?
The Michigan Public Service Commission is holding a public forum on the I&M IRP in Benton Harbor on Oct. 7.