MARQUETTE, Mich., Nov. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- We Energies and Wolverine Power Cooperative announced today that the two companies will pursue joint ownership and the addition of state-of-the-art emission controls at the Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette, Mich.
The two companies have signed a definitive agreement in which Wolverine will acquire a minority interest in the facility by funding and constructing the air quality control additions.
"Wolverine is excited to invest in Michigan to secure power supply for our members and protect grid reliability in northern Michigan," said Eric D. Baker, president and CEO of Wolverine. "We are pleased to have a quality operating partner in We Energies that shares our desire to install state-of-the-art environmental systems at the Presque Isle Power Plant that meet new air quality requirements."
"We look forward to working with Wolverine," said Allen L. Leverett, executive vice president of We Energies. "Presque Isle is important to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and we have developed a life extension option that is the most economic and timely solution."
"This exciting partnership is a great example of the public and private sectors working together to move Michigan forward," said Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. "The agreement between We Energies and Wolverine Power Cooperative provides environmental and economic benefits to the entire region. The cleaner air emissions resulting from Wolverine's significant investment enhances our environmental quality. The agreement also preserves much-needed jobs in the community and protects consumers throughout the region by ensuring greater energy reliability. I applaud the support of labor and community leaders in making this a reality. Keeping the Presque Isle Power Plant operating is critical to the future of the Marquette area and I'm pleased that we could all come together to do what's best for the region."
Over the past several months, the two companies studied the practicality of retrofitting the facility's five units and have developed a cost-effective solution to meet air quality requirements while maintaining system reliability. Wolverine will invest approximately $130 to $140 million to retrofit the facility's units to meet expected environmental regulations.
We Energies and its employees will continue to operate the plant as well as the air quality control system. The project will enable the continued reliable operation of the power plant, while supporting the regional economy by creating construction jobs and protecting the local tax base.
The structure of the proposed joint venture as well as the air quality control equipment to be installed will require a number of approvals from state and federal agencies, including the Michigan and Wisconsin Public Service Commissions, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The Presque Isle Power Plant, located along the shore of Lake Superior, consists of five coal-fueled units capable of generating approximately 344 megawatts. The units were built between 1974 and 1979.
Wolverine is a generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in Cadillac, Mich. It supplies power to five distribution electric cooperatives and two Alternative Electric Suppliers in the Lower Peninsula.
We Energies serves more than 1.1 million electric customers in Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula and more than 1 million natural gas customers in Wisconsin. We Energies is the trade name of Wisconsin Electric Power Company and Wisconsin Gas LLC, the principal utility subsidiaries of Wisconsin Energy Corporation (NYSE: WEC). Visit the We Energies website at we-energies.com. Learn more about Wisconsin Energy Corporation by visiting wisconsinenergy.com.
SOURCE We Energies; Wolverine Power Cooperative