New power plants would be more efficient, environmentally friendly

NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP — Upper Michigan Energy Resources, an energy subsidiary of WEC Energy Group, filed an application Monday with the Michigan Public Service Commission to build the plants at an estimated cost of $277 million.

Amy Jahns, a spokesperson for We Energies, says the exact location of each plant is still being determined. However, they do have a general idea of where they would like the two facilities to be.

“We are looking at a place in Negaunee near Eagle Mills and then in Baraga in the Village of Baraga,” said Jahns. “It’s near substations in that area in both of those areas- one near M-38 and one near M-35.”

Those sites were chosen based off their close proximity to other transmission outlets and roadways. The proposed power plants would replace the Presque Isle Power Plant, which is set to close by the year 2020.

“The Presque Isle Power Plant, if we continue to run that and didn’t have this other solution, rates would be going up,” said Jahns. “You would have to make very many costly improvements, environmental improvements to that plant, where this is definitely a low-cost option. And so rates will not be adversely impacted for our customers.”

The Michigan Public Service Commission has up to 270 days to approve or deny the proposal. If you’d like to view the entire 460-page application for the plants, a link to that information can be found by clicking HERE.