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Regional conference kicked off

Brett French, vice president of business and communications for the Upper Peninsula Power Co., gives opening remarks this morning at the U.P. Energy Summit in the Great Lakes Rooms at Northern Michigan University. (Journal photo by Lisa Bowers)

MARQUETTE — Hundreds of state and local officials, energy industry leaders and others gathered today to share perspectives on local, state and regional energy initiatives at the Upper Peninsula Energy Summit.

The event was held in the Great Lakes Rooms at Northern Michigan University.

Michigan Public Service Commission Chairwoman Sally Talberg was scheduled to present the MPSC perspective, followed by a state legislative update with appearances via video conference by Sens. Tom Casperson and Wayne Schmidt, as well as Reps. Scott Dianda, Sara Cambensy, Beau LaFave and Lee Chatfield.

Talberg is expected to discuss the effects of legislation passed in 2017.

“The laws call for a commitment to renewable energy, comprehensive and transparent long-term energy planning, a focus on infrastructure, cutting energy waste and utility accountability,” Talberg said in a guest column in Tuesday’s edition of The Mining Journal.

The event also expected to include an update from Enbridge, the owner and operator of Line 5, as well as a presentation from the Upper Peninsula Power Co., in addition to a transmission update from representatives of the Mid-continent Independent System Operator and the American Transmission Co.

Other industry perspectives were to be provided by the Michigan Electric and Gas Association, the Michigan Municipal Electric Association, the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.