MARQUETTE, Mich. ‒ Gov. Rick Snyder and executives from We Energies and Wolverine Power Cooperative today announced a landmark agreement that will keep Marquette’s Presque Isle Power Plant operational by adding state-of-the-art emissions equipment to its five units. The companies will now jointly own the plant, guaranteeing that 170 jobs are safe and residents in the Upper Peninsula will have a reliable and environmentally protective source of energy for years to come.
The announcement precedes Snyder’s Special Message to the Legislature on Energy and the Environment, which will in part discuss the urgent need to address energy supply, transmission and reliability needs in the U.P. The special message will be delivered Wednesday at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station in Hickory Corners, near Kalamazoo.
“The partnership of We Energies and Wolverine Power Cooperative to keep the Presque Isle Power Plant open is good news for the current and future availability of a reliable electric supply for businesses and residents in the Upper Peninsula,” Snyder said. “The agreement will also be good for the economy with more than one hundred workers remaining on the job, and for the environment with the plant’s new state-of-the-art emissions equipment. This is a great example of how, through relentless, positive action, we can come together to make Michigan a better place to live and work.”
With the joint venture, Wolverine will acquire a minority interest in the facility by funding and constructing the air quality control additions, which will allow the plant to make required federal Environmental Protection Agency pollution control upgrades.
“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.”
While Wolverine will invest approximately $130 million to $140 million to retrofit the facility’s units, We Energies will continue to operate the plant as well as the air quality control system.
“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.”
Once approved, the cost-effective solution reached by the companies will meet air quality requirements while maintaining system reliability and will support the regional economy by creating construction jobs and protecting the local tax base.