The first hearing in Case U-17429 at the Michigan Public Service Commission regarding the application of Consumers Energy to build a 700 megawatt gas-fired power plant took place on August 19. Twelve interveners were granted party status: the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council; Energy Michigan; Attorney General for the State of Michigan; Association of Businesses Advocating Tariff Equity (ABATE); Midland Cogeneration Venture Limited Partnership; Renaissance Power LLC; New Covert Generating Company LLC; Interstate Gas Supply, Inc.; First Energy Solutions Corp.; Michigan State Utility Workers Council; Sierra Club; National Resources Defense Fund; and Michigan of Environmental Council. Based on the various petitions to intervene issues in the case are likely to include the assumptions in the Integrated Resource Plan for the utility, including assumptions about:
- alternative and renewable energy generation availability and costs;
- the limitations on the customer choice program, and
- the role of energy optimization and conservation in future load demand projections.
ABATE has indicated it will be filing a Motion for Summary Judgment seeking the dismissal of the application asserting that Consumers Energy has not properly shown a need for a new power plant. Assuming the case is not dismissed, a schedule has been set calling for cross examination of witnesses the second week of December, and a decision by the Michigan Public Service Commission on or before the 8th of April, the statutory deadline for a decision on the Certificate of Necessity request.