GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan Democrats are working to codify the electric storage goals introduced in the state’s MI Healthy Climate Plan.

State Rep. Jenn Hill, D-Marquette, introduced House Bill 4256 last week as an amendment to the 2008 Clean and Renewable Energy and Energy Waste Reduction Act. It would require Michigan’s state-regulated utility companies to have a combined 2,500 megawatts worth of battery storage up and running by 2030 and 4,000 megawatts of grid scale storage by 2040.

“Supplying our state with a robust energy reserve is going to make our supply of electricity more reliable, more efficient and more affordable,” Hill said in a release.

Storage reserves will be used to compensate for demand during stretches where renewable sources may lag — calm days for wind generators, cloudy days for solar panels — or periods of high demand like a heat wave.

The bill also highlights two factors that will need to be identified in the future. For one, the bill does not provide specific details on the type of storage systems needed. The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council believes that will allow the state to adjust their plans to the latest technological innovations without further amendments.

Second, the Michigan Public Service Commission will be tasked with completing a study to determine how much energy storage is needed as utilities continue the shift to renewable sources and adjust those goals as needed.

The MI Healthy Climate Plan was designed by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy and released in 2022. It is a series of goals to make Michigan carbon neutral by 2050. As part of that effort, the state’s regulated utilities — Consumers Energy and DTE Energy — are expected to draw at least half of its power from renewable sources by 2030.

Consumers Energy has a plan of its own to be carbon neutral by 2050. The utility company is making a heavy investment in solar power, planning to generate 1,100 megawatts of energy from solar power by 2024 (enough to serve approximately 425,000 residents) and 8,000 megawatts by 2040.

“To achieve this, we expect to develop between 50 and 75 large-scale solar projects across the state of Michigan, which will result in more than 60% of our electricity capacity coming from renewable sources,” Consumers says of its Clean Energy Plan.

Consumers is also working to close its last three coal plants by 2025, including the J.H. Campbell power plant in Port Sheldon Township. That step would make it one of the first utility companies in the nation to go coal-free.

HB 4256 was referred to the Committee of Energy, Communications and Technology.