Rep. Johnson introduces legislation to promote energy resilience, enable microgrids

Categories: Johnson News,News,Steven Johnson News

Representative Steve Johnson (R-Wayland) today introduced legislation to promote energy resilience by allowing the use of microgrids, which enable energy users with renewable energy systems to disconnect from the main electric grid during outages and continue powering their facilities.

Currently, energy customers that generate renewable energy and connect to the grid are not able to produce and use their own power during outages.

“During power outages and blackouts, customers that generate renewable energy aren’t readily able to disconnect from the grid and use the energy they produce,” said Johnson. “My legislation would promote resiliency by allowing energy customers to establish their own ‘microgrids’ to keep the lights on when the main grid fails.”

House Bill 4477 would establish protocols for microgrids so renewable energy users could safely disconnect from the main electric grid during outages and continue using the renewable energy they generate. The legislation would enable these features for critical facilities, like hospitals, police stations, shelters and water treatment plants. The legislation also establishes a process to study how microgrids could be implemented more broadly for residential users.

“Allowing microgrids would help essential services, like schools, hospitals, water treatment plants and shelters keep the lights on when the main electric grid fails,” continued Johnson. “This legislation is a step toward greater energy independence, adaptability and resiliency for Michigan energy users.”

Johnson’s legislation has gained the support of bipartisan cosponsors, and has been referred to the House Energy Committee for consideration.