Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor Endorses Next Steps on Public Power

Staff Recommends Next Steps to Pursue 100% Renewable Energy Options

Ann Arbor, Michigan, February 21, 2024.  Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor endorses taking the next steps towards public power following the release of staff recommendations based on the 100% renewable energy options analysis at the Tuesday, February 20th City Council Meeting. In his statement, the Mayor said “an MEU (Municipal Energy Utility) continues to intrigue, a chance to ensure that the utility is there for the people, no pride in deferred maintenance, no shareholders or dividends, or campaign contributions. A utility run for the public good. To that end staff have identified the steps needed for us to continue to explore the cost and practicality of an MEU, and I support those steps.” The immediate undertaking of a robust phase 2 feasibility study focused on municipalization will mean that Ann Arbor residents can sooner enjoy the benefits of clean, reliable, resilient, local power while enabling us to reach our decarbonization goals as quickly as possible.

In addition to recommending city council pursue a phase 2 feasibility study, staff recommends establishing a Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) in an upcoming ballot question, and entering into virtual power purchase agreements. Ann Arbor for Public Power supports pursuing the SEU in tandem with municipalization, but there is no need to delay moving forward with the MEU.

Ann Arbor for Public Power is pleased that staff has recommended that council pursue a phase 2 municipalization feasibility study “with the explicit goal of generating an appraisal of DTE’s assets, any stranded costs, updated annual rate projections, and other analyses necessary to generate a detailed appraisal for all DTE’s electrical assets that would need to be acquired or replaced as part of a condemnation proceeding.” City Council should pass a resolution directing staff to create an RFP for a phase 2 study in the next few weeks. Furthermore, we are calling on the City Council and staff to work closely with our organization on every step of the phase 2 study process. 

A2P2 is committed to an ongoing partnership with the city in achieving the decarbonization goals of A2Zero through both the SEU and MEU pathways. On January 17th, A2P2 released a scope of work outlining the steps needed to develop a legally defensible and accurately assessed appraisal of the value of the DTE infrastructure. On February 6th, we offered a proposal for a municipal electric utility governance structure that includes five elected officials, one from each ward, and four energy experts appointed by the City Council. These recommendations are years in the making and informed by best practices across the country. We are eager to continue to support the city in this process moving forward.

Contact: Greg Woodring
President, Ann Arbor for Public Power
(231) 288-7228‬

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