Officials from We Energies say that although interest in purchasing the plant is unknown at the moment, they are setting a deadline of March 3rd for submission of proposals from interested parties.
Successful bidders will be required to purchase 100 percent of We Energies’ ownership of the plant, retain the current workforce for at least eighteen months, and continue operating the facility. Additionally, bidders must assume any long-term contracts in effect at closing and all historic and future liabilities. According to the request for proposal timeline, the closing date for the sale of the plant is March 20, 2015.
We Energies needed to bring sales and supply resources back into balance following Cliffs Natural Resources’ decision to buy power for its Empire and Tilden mines from Integrys Energy Services on September 1st. Until that date, 80 percent of the electricity produced at the Presque Isle Power Plant went to the mines. In October, We Energies was denied a request that they filed with the Midwest’s regional power grid to suspend operation of the plant beginning in February.
The Midcontinent Independent System Operator is scheduled to file a system support resource agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission later this week. The agreement would allow We Energies to recover the cost of the plant’s operation over the next year and allow MISO to dispatch the plant to market. Such agreements are typically approved within 60 to 90 days.