LANSING – Wind generation continues to be the primary source of alternative electric power in Michigan, according to the Michigan Public Service Commission’s ninth annual report on renewable energy, released Friday.
Utility-scale wind turbine projects generated 69 percent of the approximately 3,000 megawatts of nameplate capacity in 2018, the same as the previous year, according to the Report on the Implementation and Cost-Effectiveness of the P.A. 295 Renewable Energy Standard. Solar installations generated 4 percent of renewable power, up from 3 percent the previous year.
Among the other renewable energy power sources, hydroelectric facilities generated 12 percent, biomass, 7 percent; landfill gas, 5 percent; and municipal solid waste, 3 percent.
There are 25 utility-scale wind projects in Michigan, generating 1,925 megawatts of power. Four more are planned, totaling more than 555 megawatts of new wind generation:
- Pine River Wind, Gratiot and Isabella counties, 161.3 megawatts, operational this year.
- Cross Winds III, Tuscola County, 76 megawatts, operational in 2020.
- Gratiot Farms, Gratiot County, 150 megawatts, operational in 2020.
- Polaris Wind Park, Gratiot County, 168 megawatts, operational in 2020.
Other findings from the annual report:
- Since the passage of Public Act 295 in 2008, $3.4 billion has been invested to bring more than 1,700 megawatts of renewable energy projects online through 2018.
- The average price of renewable energy contracts is $68.27 per megawatt hour.
- The Michigan Workforce Development Agency and the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives said there were 9,800 jobs in the renewable and alternative energy sector as of the second quarter of 2018.
Under Public Act 295, electric providers were required to meet a 10 percent renewable energy standard based on retail sales by the end of 2015. Public Act 342 of 2016 increased the requirement to at least 12.5 percent for 2019 and 2020 and 15 percent by the end of 2021. All providers subject to the state’s renewable energy standard met the goals.
Electric provider annual reports for 2009-17 are available on the Commission’s website.