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PRESS RELEASE: MPSC report: Renewables, energy efficiency creating jobs, driving down costs

February 15, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, Feb. 15, 2013

 

MPSC report: Renewables, energy efficiency creating jobs, driving down costs

Michigan on track to meet 10 percent by 2015 renewable energy standard

LANSING – Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs today applauded the findings of a new state report as evidence that Michigan should invest in more renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, which the Michigan Public Service Commission report said is creating jobs and driving down costs.

“During 2011, the clean and renewable energy sector contributed to employment opportunities in Michigan,” the report said. “Generating facilities were constructed utilizing Michigan labor. Contracts for utility scale projects, which will employ Michiganders, were approved, and solar pilot programs that utilize Michigan labor in their installations continued and expanded.”

The report also said: “The actual cost of renewable energy contracts submitted to the Commission to date continues to show a downward pricing trend. This was the case in the previous report, and continues to be true.”

According to the MPSC report, the weighted average prices of renewable energy contracts is $82.54 per megawatt-hour (MW/h), less than what was forecasted in renewable energy plans, and is substantially lower than the cost of new coal-fired plants. The new report noted that the combination of energy efficiency and the renewable energy standard is bringing the cost even further down, to an average weighted cost of $46 per megawatt/hour, which is one-third less than the cost of electricity from a combined cycle natural gas plant.

The report also said Michigan’s renewable energy standard has generated at least $1.8 billion in economic activity through 2012.

“More renewable energy and more energy efficiency is clearly creating local jobs and opportunities for Michigan’s economy and that’s why we need to do more to boost Michigan’s energy future,” said Marc Strandquist, CEO of Dokka Fasteners in Auburn Hills. “As a Michigan business, we see firsthand how clean Michigan energy is helping to drive the local economy forward and putting Michiganders back to work.”

“The MPSC report clearly shows clean energy is becoming more affordable every year and can help us drive down electricity costs for consumers and for businesses,” said Sue Smith, president of the League of Women Voters of Michigan. “Other states are investing in more renewable energy and more energy efficiency. As the MPSC report clearly states, Michigan has an opportunity to become an energy leader, creating jobs and reining in the high costs of energy at the same time.”

The report highlighted how Michigan’s energy law, including the renewable energy standard and energy efficiency, is driving economic growth in Holland, Mason County, Michigan’s Thumb and elsewhere, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity.

The report said: “The Commission is confident that Michigan has the potential to become a regional leader in development and manufacturing of renewable energy systems, building on the state’s engineering expertise, modernized machining, and investment in renewable energy in coming years. It appears that the Michigan incentive REC provision is meeting its intended purpose to encourage developers to maximize utilization of Michigan equipment and labor.”

Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs is a coalition of more than 300 Michigan businesses, health professionals, labor unions, Republicans and Democrats, agricultural and rural voices, faith leaders, environmental and conservation groups and more.

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