Consumers Energy warns of looming electricity shortage in 2016 and beyond
JACKSON, MI – A perfect storm is brewing in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, according to the two largest energy providers in the state.
Rolling blackouts and electricity shortages may become the new norm, as the state’s two largest utilities will shutter coal plants under federal mandates and a partially deregulated market leaves them skittish of new energy investment, officials warned in a recent report.
The report, released in November and commissioned by DTE Energy and Consumers Energy, warns of a potential electricity generation capacity shortfall in Michigan as soon as 2016.
A capacity loss of as much as 1.3 gigawatts – enough to power Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing – is expected under the planned retirement of nine coal-fired power plants over the next two years. Utilities will have to stretch resources to provide adequate electricity to customers during peak demand, normally reserved for the hottest summer days.