Oct. 26, 2017

UMERC receives approval to build new generation

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) on Oct. 25 approved Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp.’s (UMERC) plan to build two natural gas generating stations in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (U.P.).

“We are pleased with the commission’s decision to approve and support our long-term solution for electric reliability in the U.P.,” said J. Patrick Keyes, president of UMERC. “We also want to thank Gov. Rick Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette and community stakeholders who collaborated with us throughout this process to achieve a cost-effective energy future for the citizens of the U.P.”

UMERC will begin site preparation activities next week on the generating stations at the F.D. Kuester Generating Station in Marquette County and the A.J. Mihm Generating station in Baraga County.

The F.D. Kuester Generating Station is named for Frederick “Rick” Kuester, former executive vice president of Wisconsin Energy Corp. – the predecessor company to WEC Energy Group. Kuester successfully guided the company’s generation business and Power the Future plan – the largest private construction program in Wisconsin’s history. Under his leadership, the company successfully built new coal, natural gas, biomass and wind generation.

The A.J. Mihm Generating Station is named after Allan J. Mihm, director of major projects at WEC Energy Group. For many years, Mihm has provided his expertise and guidance on major company power generation projects, including this project.

Construction for the generating stations will begin in spring 2018, and operation is anticipated in 2019. This will allow for the retirement of the coal-fueled Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette, Michigan, no later than 2020.