WASHINGTON and LANSING, Mich., Dec. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today national business group, Advanced Energy Economy, and the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, AEE's state partner in Michigan, released the following statements after the Michigan House of Representatives passed Senate Bills 437 and 438, legislation that increases the state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 15 percent by 2021 and retains the state's successful energy optimization standard through 2021. The final House vote was 79-28 for passage of SB 437, and 76-31 in favor of SB 438.
See the complete statement here.
"Today, Michigan took a vote that reaffirms to the advanced energy industry and their customers that Michigan is open for business," said J.R. Tolbert, vice president for state policy with AEE. "The passage of Senate Bills 437 and 438 will help Michigan build on the enormous success secured under the previous 10 percent RPS and money-saving energy optimization standard. By increasing Michigan's RPS to 15 percent of annual retail electricity sales, the state has the potential to attract an additional $2.5 billion to 4.3 billion in renewable energy investment by 2021."
Michigan's previous 10 percent RPS, which was achieved by the end of 2015, led to the development of over 1,660 megawatts of renewable energy capacity and attracted nearly $3 billion in renewable energy investments to the state since 2008.
"The expansion of Michigan's renewable portfolio standard and better alignment of utility business models with strategies to reduce energy waste together represent a significant step forward for Michigan ratepayers, and send a strong signal that Michigan will continue to grow its advanced energy economy," said Liesl Eichler Clark, president of Michigan EIBC. "That said, the addition of an unnecessary grid charge on solar customers—particularly when distributed solar remains capped at 1 percent of our energy use—causes real concern, and the failure to interconnect Michigan's two peninsulas is a missed opportunity."
"While the increased RPS represents significant progress, the Michigan House missed an opportunity to solidify the state's commitment to advanced energy resources by omitting a provision that would have ensured a 50-50 ownership split of future renewable energy projects in Michigan," said Tolbert. "Such a requirement allows independent developers to build 50 percent of new renewable projects in Michigan, which would have driven down ratepayer electricity costs by injecting greater competition for renewable energy in Michigan's market."
"Going forward, we need to ensure that we remain adaptable and open to innovative technologies and business models, ensure meaningful access to Michigan's energy market for advanced energy companies, and allow Michigan consumers to continue to reap the benefits of declining renewable energy costs and a cleaner, more resilient grid," said Clark.
The passage of SB 437 and 438 takes place as top Fortune 500 companies are increasing their commitments to sustainability and renewable energy sources. As reported by AEE in 2016 Corporate Advanced Energy Commitments, 71 of Fortune 100 companies have set renewable energy or sustainability targets, up from 60 just two years ago. Among the Fortune 500, 43 percent, or 215 firms, have made similar commitments. Of these companies, 22 have committed to powering all their operations with renewable energy.
SB 437 and 438 move to the Michigan Senate for an expected concurrence vote, then to Governor Rick Snyder, who is expected to sign the legislation.
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SOURCE Advanced Energy Economy