FERC signs off on end of life-support deal for DTE coal unit

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) was approved Nov. 25 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the end of a System Support Resources (SSR) deal with DTE Electric for Harbor Beach Unit 1.

An SSR is designed to temporarily support a to-be-shut generating unit while MISO makes transmission upgrades that would make up for the loss of that generation. On April 2, MISO submitted the SSR agreement to FERC, which the commission accepted on Aug. 26.

“MISO has determined that Harbor Beach is not required to serve in an SSR status past the final day for the SSR Agreement, which is September 30, 2013,” MISO explained in the Sept. 30 filing with FERC for this approval. “Development of the Bauer–Rapson 345kV lines, referred to in the Harbor Beach SSR Study, renders the need for continued service by Harbor Beach unnecessary.”

Harbor Beach Unit 1 is a 95-MW, coal-fired facility that went into service in 1968. DTE Electric, formerly known as Detroit Edison, is a subsidiary of DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE).

In a Sept. 30 case filed at the Michigan Public Service Commssion, DTE Electric’s Robert Palmer, the utility’s Manager of Asset Optimization in the Fossil Generation Organization, addressed issues like planned coal unit retirements. The only two coal retirements on the current list are Harbor Beach Unit 1 around the end of 2013 and Trenton Channel Unit 8 in 2015. Other older coal units are in line to be saved with new emissions installations, like dry sorbent injection.

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.