Whitmer administration rolls out clean energy initiative

    University of Michigan | Wikimedia Commons

    As Michigan works to transition toward clean energy, state officials have a new initiative aimed at navigating that path. 

    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), the state’s regulatory authority for utilities, last week established the MI Power Grid initiative to educate the public on the changes in the energy industry and integrate emerging clean energy technology into the state.

    By 2021, electric providers will be required to create 15% of power from renewable sources, based on a series of laws passed in 2016.

    Those laws are meant to help Michigan reach its goal of having 35% of its energy needs met by renewable sources.

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    Sally Talberg, chair of the MPSC, said in a statement that MI Power Grid will help the state gain perspective from residents and set a course to achieving clean energy goals.

    “The energy industry’s transformation is exciting, and it will offer many benefits to residential and business customers,” Talberg said. “MI Power Grid will ensure Michigan residents and businesses are equipped with tools and information to receive the benefits of clean energy.”

    The MI Power Grid Initiative will use feedback from facilitated and educational discussions with stakeholders to shape MPSC regulations and utility programs. These programs are meant to create new clean energy programs and relate new energy infrastructure to customer needs.

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    The initiative will serve as a resource for “credible information” concerning the state’s transition to clean energy. Currently, Michigan is transitioning off of coal to cleaner energy such as wind and solar.

    “Prioritizing clean energy in Michigan will help us grow our economy, create jobs, and protect our overall public health,” Whitmer said in a statement. “And if we’re going to call Michigan a leader in clean, reliable energy, we must update our state’s electrical grid. MI Power Grid will serve as a critical tool in helping us reach that goal and will ensure people and businesses have the resources they need to transition to clean energy.”

    Anna Liz Nichols
    Anna Liz Nichols covers criminal justice, the environment and the Legislature. She has reported for several publications, including MLive and Michigan State University’s award-winning student paper, the State News, where she covered the many tendrils of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. She is finishing up a degree in journalism and environmental studies at Michigan State University, graduating May 2020.

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