Michigan’s energy crisis is at a crucial stage and the U.P. could be hit harder than ever. Congressman Dan Benishek and Senator Tom Casperson took a tour of the Marquette Board of Light and Power today to discuss innovative ways to the keep the U.P. supplied with safe, reliable and affordable energy.

Hard hats were required to deal with the hard facts facing Michiganders when it comes to the ongoing power shortage. The Shiras Steam Plant showcased the exemplary standards the plant has implemented and all in attendance seem to agree that innovation is key.

“The difficulty in getting new industry in the area is lessened by plant that we have so much uncertainty in our power supply and the good work that they are doing here at the Marquette light and power, keeping energy costs low in Marquette and depending on policies of the feds on how they will allow us to use the coal fire power plant that we have,” said (R) Congressman, Dan Benishek.

According to the Executive Director, The Marquette Board of Light and Power is one of the cleanest plants around. The facility is home to 80 employees and contributes six million dollars a year to the local economy. But company leaders say while they are doing well, outside influences can drastically affect their operation.

“With the constrained electrical network up here , with the issues we have wit the Presque Isle power plant potential closure, we need those five units up there for power reliability as well as our units here providing reliable energy on a day to day basis,” said Paul Kitti, Executive Director, Marquette Board of Light and Power.

The group also took a tour of K.I. Sawyer and discussed the possibility of using residual materials in a bio mass generator to provide power for the area.