Marquette, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – Agreements have been announced eliminating a substantial utility rate payment for U.P. electric consumers.
The plan protects U.P. ratepayers from system support payments for the Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette and develops replacement electric generation in the U.P., avoiding a federal mandate to pay half a billion dollars or more to remain dependent on out-of-state coal plants.
Under the plan, WE Energies would sell the Presque Isle Power Plant and other electric utility businesses to UPPCO, creating a U.P.-based corporation to provide electric service to most of the U.P.
Also, Cliffs Natural Resources agrees to purchase a majority of its power from UPPCO until the Presque Isle Power Plant’s expected closure in 2020.
Cliffs also agrees to Invenergy building, owning and operating a new natural gas-powered, combined heat and power facility, on Cliffs’ site to supply electricity and steam to Cliffs with excess energy to other local utilities.
The final agreement is between WE Energies, Governor Rick Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette, the Michigan Public Service Commission staff and Cliffs to notify the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the MPSC of no objection to a merger of Wisconsin Energy and Integrys Energy Group, conditional upon the approval of all agreements.
State officials are targeting final agreements by this spring.