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MI Electric Choice Continues Successful Bid Process

MI Electric Choice Continues Successful Bid Process

Detroit Edison reported that its unique bid-phased electric choice program in Michigan continues to receive a positive response from new participants using the system. The fifth and final bid phase of the program showed that demand for capacity on its distribution system again exceeded the amount of space available, as the company received over 70 requests.

Bidders, which include power marketers, electricity customers and other aggregated groups, bid on the opportunity to use the Detroit Edison distribution system to transmit electricity from alternative suppliers.

Bids are collected and tabulated by the public accounting firm of Rehmann Robson, which acts as an independent bid administrator. The Michigan Public Service Commission also oversees the entire bid process.

Starting with the first phase, which began in August 1999, and in each of the next four phases leading up to Jan. 1, 2002, Detroit Edison and Consumers Energy have opened a portion of their transmission infrastructure capacity to competitive providers.

Currently, the company has opened up 1,125 MW, or more than 12% of its capacity to more than 40 customers wishing to choose an alternative supplier. The list includes Meijer, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and North Star Steel.

The company said Michigan's bid-phased format was unlike other electric deregulation efforts in other states. The five-phase approach allowed Detroit Edison to ease its way into the program, and correct things along the way. The company remains responsible for the upkeep and distribution reliability of the electric system.

"Michigan and Detroit Edison have developed an electric choice program designed to be fair to all energy users," said James Gessner, Detroit Edison Electric Choice Program manager. "It will be the benchmark for other states and utilities because customers and other participants will experience a seamless transition to full statewide electric choice in 2002."

Alex Steis

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