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Environmental group says Michigan electric grid operator blocking green energy participation

Lauren Sommer

An environmental group says Michigan's grid operator is keeping renewable energy from fully participating in the electric grid.

Nearly every year, renewable energy produces more of our electricity, and fossil fuel, especially coal, produces less. Aaron Stemplewicz is with EarthJustice. He says MISO, the multi-state grid operator that includes Michigan, is essentially discriminating against renewables.

For example, MISO bans renewables, but not fossil fuels, from holding off on putting its power on the grid, as a reserve for emergencies. He says that doesn't make sense.

"It's gonna help integrate renewables, it's gonna help keep the grid stable as the transition in energy mix occurs," Stemplewicz said.

Earth Justice has filed a complaint with the federal agency that oversees grid operators. MISO says it's still reviewing the complaint.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.