We Energies talks about new deal with Cliffs

MARQUETTE — When Cliffs Natural Resources left We Energies as their power supplier for the mines in 2013, it resulted in a loss of approximately 80% of We Energies customer load in Michigan.

Now, a new five–year contract between We Energies and Cliffs Natural Resources will keep the Presque Isle Power Plant as the mines’ source of power through the year 2020.

“This brings certainty to residents in the Upper Peninsula and our customers,” said We Spokesperson Cathy Schulze. “It brings certainty to our company and to employees of that power plant. This is a step towards bringing certainty to what has been a very uncertain situation for some time.”

The new contract between Cliffs and We Energies got the approval from the Attorney General’s office and Governor Snyder’s office. Lansing’s top brass has kept a close watch on the U.P.’s power situation throughout the entire process.

“I think that’s been key,” said Schulze. “They’ve been able to bring all of the stakeholders together and hammer out a solution to what’s been a serious concern. When the original settlement was announced, they were a big part of that. Now, in this amended settlement, they’re a big part of that.”

The Presque Isle Power Plant is expected to close in 2020 when the EPA’s new air emission requirements take place.