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Michigan kicks off clean energy transition initiative

Michigan officials launched a new stakeholder initiative Oct. 17 aimed at guiding residents and businesses through the transition to clean energy.

Under the MI Power Grid effort announced by the state Public Service Commission and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, stakeholders will be able to take part in facilitated discussion and educational sessions and will be able to provide input and learn about how Michigan can best adapt to the changing energy industry.

"These activities will help inform changes to MPSC regulations and utility programs," the announcement said. "Some changes may be implemented quickly, while others may have more formal processes required through agency rulemaking or evidentiary hearings."

The initiative comes as Michigan utilities are closing coal plants and adding more renewables. Customers also are getting better tools to manage energy costs, such as energy waste reduction and demand response programs, a flier about MI Power Grid said.

The effort will have three areas of focus: customer engagement, integrating emerging technologies, and optimizing grid performance and investments. Stakeholders will include utilities, energy technology companies, customers, consumer advocates and state agencies.

PSC staff will submit a status report Sept. 30, 2020, regarding actions to date, work group status updates and initial recommendations. A final report is expected in mid- to late 2021.