According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Michigan’s installed wind energy capacity is booming. Michigan made the top 10 lists in 2012 for both the most capacity additions, with over 600 MW added, and the fastest growth rate, at a whopping 162%. Although Michigan’s wind resource cannot compare to that of powerhouses such as Texas, wind developers are eyeing the possibilities to develop in the state.
Let’s explore what makes Michigan such a promising prospect. The stars started to align for Michigan when the state legislature enacted a modest renewable energy standard (RES) in 2008 of 10% by 2015. The Michigan RES also includes a Michigan Incentive Renewable Energy Credit (REC). This credit offers one-tenth of a REC for each megawatt-hour generated during the first three years of commercial operation for projects that use Michigan labor and another one-tenth of a REC for using Michigan-made equipment. Michigan also sits on the edge of the PJM Interconnection (PJM) power market. This provides developers the opportunity to sell their electricity into the energy markets of either PJM or the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO).