As operational demands increase, and load growth remains flat, traditionally utility resource planning that focusses only on the supply side does not adequately address future challenges and opportunities. Utilities like Consumers Energy Michigan have turned to an Integrated Resource Plan to plan for future supply and demand needs effectively.

Their MI Clean Energy Plan is a long-term tool for supplying affordable, reliable energy to customers throughout the state. They created a forecast of Michigan’s energy future using a variety of assumptions about factors such as market prices, energy demand, and levels of clean energy resources, including wind, solar, demand response, and energy efficiency.

This plan embodies a commitment to the Triple Bottom Line of people, planet, and prosperity, and a “clean and lean” generation strategy of moving away from coal. To discuss the changing utility planning landscape, Zpryme’s Chris Moyer spoke with Tim Sparks, the Vice President of Electric Grid Integration at Consumers Energy.