IMPACTS OF THE RENEWABLE ENERGY TRANSITION ON MICHIGAN RATEPAYERS
Bearden, Cole Jacob
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The capstone finds that net-zero commitments in Michigan have led utility companies to pursue renewable energy portfolios that will increase electricity prices 43.28% by 2040. Forecasting of Michigan’s renewable energy mix in 2030 and 2040 showed expected increases in MISO-wide congestion costs and hourly LMP. These increases are likely just a fraction of the total costs the system would incur if similar forecasting were performed for the entire MISO market. Combined with high-capacity costs from a loss in accredited capacity and the securitization cost of depreciated assets, energy burden for vulnerable Michigan communities is highly likely to increase. Distributed generation and community solar ostensibly present solutions for vulnerable communities facing high energy bills, but observations of available circuit hosting capacity in vulnerable Michigan census tracts suggest that there are limited opportunities for installation. The capstone recommends increased investment in long-range transmission planning to address market-wide impacts, and increased investment in distribution system hardening to address limited hosting capacity issues.