Regulators: Michigan energy supply ample, improvement needed

Michigan
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A file image shows a fire at a Consumers Energy compressor station in southeast Michigan. (January 2019)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Regulators say Michigan’s energy supply and delivery systems are adequate to meet demand, but improvements should be made after extreme winter weather led to electric and natural gas emergencies.

The state Public Service Commission on Monday submitted an initial 247-page energy assessment to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who requested it after the Jan. 30-31 polar vortex.

Regulators say Michigan’s diverse energy-generation resources, including access to natural gas storage, can accommodate extreme weather events. But they recommend rule updates, better emergency-management communications and changes such as prioritizing home heating over electric generation when natural gas usage is curtailed.

In January, a Consumers Energy compressor station fire sparked concerns about keeping natural gas flowing to millions of people during a snap of bitterly cold temperatures and at a time of record demand.

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