DELTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Regulators say a new state law gives them the authority to require that power providers buy or produce electricity locally, but the companies won’t have to comply until 2022.

The issue is a flashpoint for those who want to protect competition in the electric industry.

The Michigan Public Service Commission issued an order Friday saying it will further study a locational requirement and won’t apply one for the 2018-2021 planning years. It intends to apply it in 2022.

The law requires all electric providers to annually show they own or can buy enough power to serve customers four years out.

PSC Chairwoman Sally Talberg said regulators acted to ensure electric choice stays viable while all providers contribute to long-term reliability. Choice advocates said commissioners went against legislative intent.