LANSING – In an order, the Michigan Supreme Court has ruled unanimously approving a Public Service Commission decision allowing for the siting and construction of a wind energy transmission line.
The decision reversed in part a decision of the Court of Appeals that the PSC, and a 2008 act requiring minimum alternative energy generation in Michigan, violated the Constitution by altering and amending a 1995 act that sets requirements on making decision for construction of electric transmission lines.
The Supreme Court was asked to hear the case In Re. Application of International Transmission Company for Expedited Siting Certificate (SC docket No. 146386). Instead it issued its decision in the order.
Last November, the Court of Appeals held in the case that provisions in the 2008 law, PA 295, that require at least 10 percent of the state’s electrical generation come from alternative energy by 2015, are unconstitutional because it revises or amends a 1995 act that specifically sets conditions for approving construction of power plants and transmission lines.
In the case, the Public Service Commission approved ITC’s request for an expedited decision to site and build a transmission line for wind generated electricity. The Court of Appeals held the 2008 law allowed for both siting and construction approval, but that it did not specifically amend a section of the 1995 that states that act, PA 30 of 1995, will control the process to approve construction of plants and transmission lines.
In looking at the facts and arguments in the case, it rejected the arguments of the opponents in the matter, and held its ruling would have prospective application, and allowed the PSC order in the case to stand.
The Supreme Court, in its order, said the 2008 act is “an act complete in itself” and the expedited siting certificate “clearly intends construction of approved transmission lines.” It does not violate the Constitution, the court said, and the PSC’s ruling is upheld.
The Supreme Court issued the order on Thursday.
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