Michigan PURPA Settlement Set to More Than Triple State’s Solar Capacity

Regulators in Michigan approved a settlement Wednesday persuasive utility Consumers Power to purchase power from 584 megawatts of solar interconnected by September 1, 2023, multiplying by many situations the 153 megawatts now standing at the state.

The settlement ends a lengthy debate about projects tied the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), which requires utilities to cover regulator-approved “avoided cost” prices to unmanned solar installations. Developers and solar advocates argued the Michigan usefulness wasn’t approving qualifying projects in a timely fashion, while Consumers stated a dash of PURPA jobs had “overwhelmed” the utility and compelled it to pay more for solar compared it would at the market.   

Per the payoff, Consumers will probably move forward together with 584 megawatts of solar from developers — such as Cypress Creek Renewables, that stated it would grow about 40 percent of the capacity — who had jointly sunk over 3 gigawatts into the utility’s PURPA pipeline. While the rest, at 414 megawatts, will find a avoided price some jobs, totaling 170 megawatts, will get complete, existing PURPA speeds. Comprise 94 percent of their more than 3 interconnection lineup, according to Consumers. 

The agreement isn’t a shocking person,” said senior solar analyst at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, Colin Smith. Michigan’s controversy echoes similar struggles in North Carolina and Montana.

Until recently, PURPA functioned as a steady supply of money for the sector as developers jammed the lineup in nations with positive rates. But many utilities seen the law as a nuisance requiring them to purchase solar they didn & rsquo up . Nowadays many utilities have been pushing state policies which make PURPA projects unattractive.

“Even the vast majority of utilities have figured out this PURPA is a mechanism that can cause way too many jobs entering the queue,” said Smith. “Utilities avoided price methodologies to efficiently make it impossible to build jobs through PURPA and have used contract length, maximum platform size constraints. ” 

Consumers had begun doing the same in Michigan.

That’s intended a downturn for several solar developers — heading too big on PURPA was probably a motivator behind Cypress Creek’s enormous Improvements early this year, for example — but because of economics and other positive policies, PURPA is not a huge driver for the general industry.

That doesn’t negate the effects of the payoff together with Consumers agreeing in years to nearly 600 megawatts, though, in Michigan. The utility also offers standing plans include 6 gigawatts of solar energy, to phase coal from its own portfolio and reduce carbon emissions 90 percent by 2040.   

After working together with the industry on a solution consumers set forth the PURPA settlement in August. In an emailed statement, the utility said that it had been “happy ” together using all its own resolution of & ldquo; PURPA worries and the approval. ” In a Wednesday regulatory filing to the agreement, the utility included that the settlement will let it “focus its full attention on the implementation of its Clean Energy Plan. ” 

Smith said execution of this plan will expose the success of the arrangement. The statement comes only days later Consumers finalized a power purchase agreement for 100 megawatts.

“” It will become a question of if they procure more solar,” said Smith. “Does this help them reach this target, and how much procurement are? ”

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