Monday, May 20, 2013

PSCW approves PIPP-Wolverine joint venture

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) on May 16 unanimously approved our asset transfer application for joint ownership of Presque Isle Power Plant (PIPP) with Wolverine Power Cooperative and the addition of state-of-the-art emission controls at the facility. The PSCW action, in addition to previous approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, are significant steps forward in the process.

Still pending is an air permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Other local permits also need to be secured prior to construction of the emission controls, which is expected to begin in early 2014. Project completion is targeted for 2016.

The ownership agreement provides that Wolverine will invest approximately $130 million to $140 million to retrofit the facility’s units with air quality control additions to meet expected environmental regulations. In exchange, Wolverine will receive a minority interest in the plant.

Our company and employees will continue to operate the plant as well as the new air quality control system. The project will enable the continued reliable operation of the power plant, while supporting the regional economy by creating construction jobs and protecting the local tax base.

Located in Marquette, Mich., along the shore of Lake Superior, PIPP consists of five coal-fueled units capable of generating approximately 344 megawatts. The units were built between 1974 and 1979.

Wolverine is a generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in Cadillac, Mich. It supplies power to five distribution electric cooperatives and two alternative electric suppliers in the Lower Peninsula.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

PSCW approves request to build new Twin Falls powerhouse

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) issued a certificate of authority on May 13 approving our request to build a new powerhouse at the Twin Falls hydroelectric generating facility on the Menominee River. The project was approved at an estimated cost of $72.3 million, including additional funds used during construction.

Additional permits have been requested from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and a license amendment application also has been filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). After all permits and licenses are received, the project schedule calls for construction to start in the fall of 2013, with a completion date of mid-2016.

Twin Falls, one of 13 hydroelectric power plants in our system, is located on the border of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (U.P.). While licensed to operate until 2040, the powerhouse, which was built in 1912, is in need of repair. Several alternatives were considered, including repairing the original structure, shutting it down or building a new one.

The most prudent decision was to build a new powerhouse on the Wisconsin side of the Menominee River to replace the current powerhouse on the Michigan side of the river. The project will include adding spillway capacity to meet current FERC standards.

Once the new plant is commissioned, the original plant will be removed.

Milwaukee Brewers High-Energy Player voting underway

We are again partnering with the Milwaukee Brewers baseball club as corporate sponsor of the High-Energy Player of the Year promotion, which kicked off May 13 and runs through Sept. 8. Once again, fans have the opportunity to vote for the Brewers player they believe best demonstrates a positive attitude, hard work and an aggressive approach to playing the game.

Voters are entered into a grand prize drawing for a chance to win a Club-level suite to a Brewers home game. In addition to the Club-level suite, the Grand Slam prize also includes six Diamond Box tickets to the Sept. 20 game at which the 2013 High-Energy Player is announced. The winning fan also receives an autographed jersey and the opportunity to join the High-Energy Player on the field during the award presentation.

Each fan voting throughout the season is entered to win four Loge Outfield tickets to a Brewers home game, with one winner named for each home game, June 3 through Sept. 22.

Previous High-Energy Player of the Year winners include:
2012 – Ryan Braun
2011 – Nyjer Morgan/Tony Plush
2010 – Rickie Weeks
2009 – Craig Counsell
2008 – Ryan Braun
2007 – Prince Fielder
2006 – Bill Hall

Registration and voting for the High-Energy Player of the Year is done through the Brewers website. Additional information, along with eligibility and contest rules, is available on the site. Fans also can vote via text during select Brewers home games.

Employees, officers and directors, including immediate family members and members of the same household, of We Energies, the Milwaukee Brewers, other Major League Baseball entities, and each of their affiliated companies, subsidiaries, licensees, distributors, dealers, retailers, printers and advertising and promotion agencies, and any and all other companies associated with the sweepstakes are not eligible to win prizes.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Port Washington falcons growing fast

Here's a clip captured today of the chicks in our Port Washington Power Plant nest box. They're growing fast. These chicks were born at the end of April and will be banded next week.

The chicks at Oak Creek and Pleasant Prairie nest boxes are not far behind.

See live video of chicks at our Pleasant Prairie and Oak Creek nest boxes