Consumers, DTE rework interconnect for uprated Ludington facility

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Aug. 28 accepted a revised Generator Interconnection Agreement that covers an uprate of the Ludington pumped storage hydro facility in Michigan, which is co-owned by Consumers Energy and DTE Electric.

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) had in July submitted the new agreement among Consumers Energy Co. LLC (as the interconnection customer) Michigan Electric Transmission Co. (as the transmission owner) and MISO ( as the transmission provider).

“The existing Ludington Pumped Storage Generating Plant consists of 6 separate units each rated at 312 MW for a total of 1,872 MW net capability,” said the revised GIA. “Projects J226-J231 will upgrade each of the units to 382 MW net capability a total increase of 420 MW net capability for the plant.”

The Ludington Pumped Storage Generating Plant is located in Mason County, Mich., on a 1,000-acre site along the Lake Michigan shoreline. The plant consists of six separate generating units each originally rated at 312 MW for a total of 1,872 MW net capability. Beginning in 2014 each unit will undergo refurbishment which will upgrade each unit’s net capability to 382 MW. Refurbishment is expected to be completed in 2019 and when complete the total output for all generators will be 2,292 MW net capability.

The Point of Change of Ownership (PCO) for Units 1 through 6 will be at the respective terminating structure where three Consumers Energy 345 kV lines from the Ludington Pumped Storage Generating Plant connect in the Ludington Substation.

The Ludington facility is undergoing an $800m upgrade, which includes the replacement of its six turbines with more efficient models. The six-year project will increase the plant’s generating capacity by 15% and its efficiency by 5%. Once the overhaul is complete, the plant will be able to produce enough electricity to power a community of 1.65 million, up from 1.4 million currently, said plant co-owner Consumers Energy in a July 19 statement marking the 40th anniversary of the hydro plant.

The Ludington plant is co-owned by Consumers Energy (51%) and DTE Electric (49%), and operated by Consumers Energy. It pumps water during the night uphill 363 feet to its 27 billion-gallon reservoir. During the day, at times of peak customer electric demand, the water is released through turbines to generate electricity.

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS). DTE Electric (formerly known as Detroit Edison), a subsidiary of DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE), is an electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.