State Rep. Triston Cole’s legislation allowing more competition for electricity transmission line projects was approved this week by a Michigan House committee.
Cole’s bills would expand the number of companies that could be granted authority to build new, large transmission line projects in Michigan. Authority to build the major projects could be expanded to companies that did not own property in the state prior to 2001.
“Competition is good for consumers, and that is why I am sponsoring this legislation,” Cole, of Mancelona, said after the Energy Policy Committee approved his bills. “This is a key step toward lower electricity rates for customers and a more efficient transmission grid for the state.”
The bills would give new-to-Michigan companies an equal opportunity to compete with existing transmission companies for new, large-scale transmission lines in the state. The large-scale projects would need approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission after a bidding process through a regional transmission organization.
With regulatory approval, the new companies would be granted the same powers necessary to build the transmission line that incumbent transmission companies currently possess.
Cole said increased competition could be beneficial to potential future large-scale projects such as eventually connecting Michigan’s two peninsulas.
“This legislation is needed to continue supporting Michigan’s economic recovery,” Cole said.
The legislation: House Bills 4482-3.