FERC approves deal related to Michigan plant switching ISOs

Saying that timing concerns raised by Consumers Energy are too “speculative,” the Federal Regulatory Commission on July 1 approved an agreement related to the switch of a 1,080-MW power plant in Michigan from the Midcontinent ISO system to the PJM Interconnection system.

On May 2, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) filed an engineering and procurement agreement covering grid upgrades between Michigan Electric Transmission Co. LLC (Michigan Electric) and New Covert Generating Co. LLC.

The agreement states that New Covert intends to disconnect its existing generating facility in Van Buren County, Mich., from Michigan Electric’s transmission system, operated by MISO, and to interconnect the facility to ITC Interconnection LLC’s transmission system, operated by PJM.

Consumers Energy told the commission that two timing gaps could occur prior to the anticipated Sept. 30, 2015, in-service date for the network upgrades on the Michigan Electric transmission system; one gap could occur should New Covert disconnect from Michigan Electric prior to that date and the other should New Covert interconnect to the PJM system before the proposed network upgrades are in place. Consumers Energy is concerned about the treatment of costs that may be incurred as a result of these potential gaps. It stated that the area of New Covert’s generating facility has been subject to unusually high congestion costs in recent months and that these congestion costs are likely to be exacerbated by New Covert’s move to PJM. Consumers Energy urged that Michigan Electric’s customers not be exposed to any resultant increased congestion costs.

“We find that the May 2 Filing appears to be just and reasonable and has not been shown to be unjust, unreasonable, unduly discriminatory or preferential or otherwise unlawful,” the commissioners said in their July 1 order. “Accordingly, we will accept the E&P Agreement for filing, to become effective on May 3, 2014, as requested, for good cause shown. We find Consumers Energy’s arguments regarding timing gaps that could occur prior to the anticipated September 30, 2015 in-service date for the network upgrades, the potential for increased congestion costs associated with New Covert’s move to PJM, and whether an Attachment Y Notice is required at this time, to be speculative and beyond the scope of this proceeding. We note that none of Consumers Energy’s arguments challenge the justness and reasonableness of the E&P Agreement itself.”

New Covert’s facility has three 360-MW combined cycle generating units with a total net output of 1,080 MW.

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.