Michigan’s Not Good For Wind Power, So Consumers Energy Customers Will Pay More

Under 2016 state regulation rewrite, electric utility monopoly makes money either way

By Tom Gantert

| Nov. 7, 2019

The Michigan Public Service Commission recently approved an application from Consumers Energy to buy an industrial wind farm development in Hillsdale County that is projected to begin operations by December 2020.

The Crescent Wind Project is said to have a levelized cost of electricity, a common industry metric, of about $48 per megawatt hour over a 31-year period. That’s above the average national cost, and the rate will hold only if the big utility company is allowed to use federal tax breaks to offset the project’s actual costs. The federal credit is worth $23 per megawatt hour.

Consumers Energy forecasts the production costs for the proposed 63 turbine towers to be $57.75 per megawatt hour, according to a plan approved in February by state regulators.

The average levelized cost for wind in the U.S. is $36.60 per megawatt hour, according to the Energy Information Administration. That means at best, Consumers Energy and its customers would be paying anywhere from $11.40 to $21.15 more per megawatt hour than the national average for the wind farm in Hillsdale County.

When contacted by Michigan Capitol Confidential, the company … [Read More HERE]

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