LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, and Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, voiced their support on Monday regarding Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s (MISO) most recent steps toward a new three-year forward auction plan that will help preserve and improve competitive electric rates in Michigan.
“Representative Glenn and myself strongly believe that our current electric choice program has reliably provided a level of competition in our state that has resulted in savings for ratepayers,” said Shirkey. “While some have felt that a one-year auction would have meant the need for excessive new regulations that would hurt the ability for people to access the electric choice market, we view MISO’s most recent step as an innovative way to take such speculation off the table.”
The MISO committee decided to pursue a three-year forward auction plan for purchasing of electric capacity. With a three-year forward capacity auction, the market will more clearly indicate to companies how much capacity they can expect to sell for three years in advance, giving generators a better estimate of not only how much power they will sell, but also if there should be a need to build new generation facilities. There will also be more transparency in the auction process, which will help keep costs down.
“This step will help make Michigan more competitive with neighboring states, like Ohio, that have more energy competition, consumer choice, and incentive for innovation and have seen their energy markets thrive at lower cost to ratepayers,” said Glenn. “We look forward to MISO’s next meeting and hopefully a finalization of this new process.”
MISO will have at least one more meeting to discuss the process and the regulations needed to put the plan in place. It is targeting a date in late August to then file the plan with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Both Shirkey and Glenn had written letters to MISO as part of the formal comment period and indicated they will continue to advocate for the three-year plan, competitive energy markets, and lowered electric prices in Michigan.