We Energies releases statement about power situation

UPDATE — 7:40 AM Saturday, February 7, 2015 (EST)

We Energies has released a statement to ABC 10 about the story on Friday regarding Cloverland Electric and the situation regarding the Presque Isle Power Plant, MISO, and the SSR agreement:

“Cliffs has made no long term commitment to return to service with us and given the market structure in Michigan, the Mines could depart again at any time. As a result, the SSR agreement needs to remain in place to protect our customers in Michigan and Wisconsin that would remain on our system. A final decision on how the costs are allocated for the operation of the plant is still in the hands of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and no final decision has yet been made.”

MARQUETTE — On February first, the Empire and Tilden mines went back to Wisconsin Energy to buy their power from the Presque Isle Power Plant. Now, Cloverland Electric wants Wisconsin Energy to stop collecting payments from an agreement that has kept the Power Plant up and running.

When the mines left Wisconsin Energy for its power supply in 2013, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO, stepped in and determined the plant could not close without affecting the U.P.’s electric reliability. With the mines now back with Wisconsin Energy, Cloverland would like Wisconsin Energy to stop collecting the System Support Resource payments through MISO.

But, that’s proven to be a difficult challenge.

“Wisconsin Electric is in charge. They would have to go to MISO and say let’s remove that, and then they would go to FERC, and everybody would get it removed, which is what we want,” said Cloverland CEO Dan Dasho. “Wisconsin Electric’s going, ‘we’re not going to do that.’ We worked very hard at trying to get the mines to go back to being a retail customer with Wisconsin Electric. Our folks around here were contacting everybody who would listen. We accomplished that, and now we’re looking at Wisconsin Electric like, ‘do the right thing, here.'”

Cloverland Electric could be on the books for up to 15 million before Wisconsin Energy’s deal to sell the power plant to UPPCO is finalized in July. According to Dasho, Cloverland currently receives no benefits from the Presque Isle Power Plant.