MISO seeks approval for life-support deal for Michigan unit

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator filed on Dec. 30 with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for approval a System Support Resource Agreement with White Pine Electric Power LLC for a power plant in the transmission-constrained Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

White Pine owns the White Pine facilities located in White Pine, Michigan. These facilities include three generating units, including a spare that is currently non-operational, and two other units that each provides approximately 20 MW of capacity. White Pine Unit No. 1 is the subject of an existing SSR Agreement that runs through April 15, 2015. The other operational unit, White Pine Unit No. 2, is the subject of the Dec. 30 submission. The White Pine facilities have two boilers that have historically been coal-fired, but are currently fueled by natural gas purchased on the spot market.

On April 29, 2014, White Pine submitted an Attachment Y to MISO for retirement of White Pine 2, beginning on Jan. 1, 2015. MISO completed its analysis of the Attachment Y Notice and notified White Pine on May 22, 2014, that White Pine 2 would be designated an SSR Unit until such time as appropriate alternatives could be implemented to mitigate reliability issues. MISO concluded that the proposed retirement of White Pine 2, without curtailment of load by means of demand response or another alternative, would result in violations of specific applicable reliability standards. As a result, MISO designated White Pine 2 as an SSR Unit until such time as appropriate alternatives can be implemented to mitigate reliability issues.

MISO began working with White Pine and the MISO Independent Market Monitor (IMM) to negotiate and develop an appropriate SSR Agreement. White Pine and MISO began discussions of a draft SSR Agreement based largely upon the SSR Agreement for White Pine 1, and White Pine agreed to a 3.5-month SSR Agreement for the period between Jan. 1, 2015, and April 15, 2015. The April date corresponds to the end of the SSR Agreement covering White Pine Unit No. 1, and the SSR designation for both units will be considered again during early 2015. White Pine has agreed to continue operating White Pine 2 on and after Jan. 1, 2015.

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.