Gov. Whitmer, MPSC launch MI Power Grid

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) have announced the launch of a new initiative designed to guide Michigan residents and businesses through the energy industry’s rapid changes in the transition to clean energy. Called MI Power Grid, the initiative will serve as a centralized source for credible information and outreach, engage utility customers and other stakeholders to help integrate new clean energy technologies and optimize grid investments for reliable, affordable electricity service.
It is a critical time for Michigan, as older coal plants are being replaced by cleaner energy, and an industry dominated traditionally by large power plants faces a future with smaller, more widespread sources of 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,” Gov. Whitmer said. “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. I'm ready and eager to work closely with the MPSC as we take further steps toward a more sustainable future.”

MI Power Grid will have three areas of emphasis: customer engagement, integrating emerging technologies, and optimizing grid performance and investments.

The energy industry’s transformation provides opportunities for residential and business customers to support clean energy sources by preparing them with better tools to manage energy costs. A more modern electric grid will help improve reliability and encourage the use of new technologies ranging from electric vehicles and electricity storage to smart sensors and controls.

MI Power Grid builds on the adoption of Michigan’s 2016 energy laws that placed the state on a path to cleaner energy by engaging regulators, utilities, customers and other stakeholders as the energy industry evolves.

MPSC Chairman Sally Talberg said it’s important to have input from a wide variety of perspectives as MI Power Grid helps shape the state’s energy future.

“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 benefits will include new clean energy programs and rates, advancements in how energy infrastructure is planned to meet customer needs, and updated regulations to improve customer service and reliability.

MI Power Grid will involve facilitated discussion and educational sessions for stakeholders, as well as other opportunities for input and learning about how Michigan should best adapt to the changing energy industry. Workgroups will be formed on various topics.

These activities will help inform changes to MPSC regulations and utility programs. Some changes may be implemented quickly, while others may have more formal processes required through agency rulemaking or evidentiary hearings. Gaps in existing laws also may be identified through this process.

MI Power Grid’s website,, will keep the public and stakeholders informed, with information on events, participation opportunities and Commission actions. You can also sign up for email updates to stay informed.

After Thursday’s announcement, a variety of groups weighed in on MI Power Grid.

Consumer’s Energy said, “The issue of climate change needs everyone’s attention. We admire the Michigan Public Service Commission and the Governor for working side by side with us and many others to tackle the issue of preserving Michigan’s natural resources for future generations. Consumers Energy, through its Clean Energy Plan, will continue to focus on enhancing our electric distribution system to improve reliability and resiliency, while also modernizing to enable advanced grid capabilities and integration of emerging technologies.”

The Sierra Club’s Mike Berkowitz, Campaign Representative with the Beyond Coal Campaign, stated,  “Sierra Club commends Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Public Service Commission for their commitment to helping customers adopt and understand clean energy solutions. MI Power Grid is an important initiative that will help educate Michiganders about how to save on energy costs, reduce pollution from their energy use and also create jobs in a green economy. This project will help further position Michigan as a leader in the transition to a clean energy future, as we ensure pollutants do not endanger our air and water.”