East Lansing, Mich.-based Anderson Economic Group (AEG) has released a study that examines the case for shared investment in regional transmission projects.
An agreement to share costs of regionally beneficial electric transmission projects was adopted by stakeholders in the Midwest and approved by the Federal Energy Regulation Commission in 2010.
According to the study, the expected benefits to Michigan from the proposed projects include the following:
– Improved access to electricity in other states, especially those where electricity prices are significantly lower than in Michigan;
– A strengthened regional economy and a more reliable grid across the region;
– Strengthened demand for Michigan-based manufacturers of wind turbines and other alternative energy components; and
– Better access to wind energy from across the region.
If the cost-allocation plan is significantly modified, unintended consequences may include disproportionate costs shifted to Michigan's Upper Peninsula and other states in the Midwest and delays in improving the grid, including reliability issues, according to the study.