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Michigan's 10% by 2015 renewable portfolio standard (RPS) helped boost local development and procurement of clean energy, especially wind power, in 2012, finds a new report from the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC).

According to the report, the state's estimated renewable energy percentage reached 4.4% in 2011, up from 3.6% the previous year. For 2012, renewables are expected to have reached 4.7%, and the MPSC says wind power has been the primary source of new clean energy in Michigan.

"More renewable energy came online in Michigan in 2012 than ever before," notes MPSC Chairman John D. Quackenbush. "Michigan added 815 MW of new wind capacity in 2012 and now has a total of 978 MW from 14 operating wind farms."

Other highlights of the report include the following:

- Michigan has experienced significant investment in renewable energy since the passage of the Public Act 295 of 2008, which established the state’s RPS. Conservatively, the MPSC says, over $1.79 billion has been invested to bring 895 MW of new renewable energy projects online in Michigan through 2012.

- By the end of 2012, Michigan's RPS will have resulted in the development of 964 MW of new renewable energy projects.

- Compared to building a new, conventional coal facility, the report says renewable energy contracts are significantly lower in price - with the exception of two anaerobic bio-digester contracts representing less than 4 MW of capacity.

- The weighted average price of renewable energy contracts in Michigan is $82.54/MWh, which is less than what was forecast in renewable energy plans and is substantially lower than the cost of new coal-fired plants.

- A total incremental cost of $74 million was spent on renewable energy in Michigan through 2011.

- The MPSC reports that all local electric providers - except Detroit Public Lighting (DPL) - are on pace to meet interim targets, as well as the 2015 goal. DPL is expected to be unable to meet the standard because of surcharge caps put in place by Michigan law.

The entire report is available here.




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