The percentage of Michigan’s electricity that comes from wind and other renewable resources would nearly triple by 2015 under an energy plan submitted Wednesday to Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
The proposal also outlines a roadmap to building a new coal-fired power plant within 8 years.
“Michigan is going to need more power going forward into the 21st century,” said Michigan Public Service Commission J. Peter Lark, who created the plan.
He said doing nothing – not requiring more renewable energy, building a plant or becoming more energy efficient – would cost consumers in the long run because more of their electricity would come from volatile and expensive wholesale markets.
About 3.7 percent of Michigan’s power comes from renewable sources. The plan would require that number to reach 10 percent by 2015, though regulators could delay the standard if costs become too high and pose a hardship on ratepayers.
Electricity demand in Michigan is expected to grow 1.2 percent a year over the next 20 years. The average age of the state’s power plants is 48 years, and big utilities haven’t built a new plant in 18 years.
Lark said 24 states have enacted legislation setting renewable portfolio standards.
David Eggert can be reached at deggert(at)ap.org
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