In the latest episode, Commissioner Tremaine Phillips of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) joins Elena Mannion and Pete Curtice for a thoughtful conversation on Michigan’s energy transition.
The episode delves into Commissioner Phillips’ career, provides an overview of the Commission, and explores how Michigan is keeping pace to be a center of the vehicle electrification industry, from EV-induction roadways to forging new cross-border drone corridors with Ontario. Other topics include accommodating communities most impacted by the closure of coal plants and delving into resource adequacy.
Commissioner Phillips notes, “I don’t think folks truly appreciate how fast this transition is taking place. Just to provide one example–in 2007, 70% of Michigan’s electricity generation was derived from coal power facilities. And in 2020, we were at just 22%.”
Commissioner Phillips was appointed in 2019 to a six-year term and is currently one of only three Commissioners to serve on the Michigan Public Service Commission. In fact, he points out that there are more NBA players in the United States than Public Utility Commissioners! Despite their small numbers, the MPSC has been busy; in the last year alone, it issued over 510 orders, including the largest on record, several hundred pages long, and responded to over 10,000 customer complaints. The Commissioners are backed by a professional team of 170 who help evaluate, investigate, and regulate the industries over which the Commission has authority.
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