Wolverine to raise money to help it build gas-fired power plant

Michigan’s Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative on Jan. 23 requested authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue long-term debt securities or assume liabilities including guaranteeing similar debt of subsidiaries in an aggregate amount not to exceed $200m.

Wolverine seeks authorization to issue such long-term obligations to commercial financial institutions or through public or private placements from time to time as authorized by Wolverine’s Board of Directors. Wolverine requested that the commission approve this application by March 9, 2015, with the authorization effective on the date of the order.

As for reasons to raise this new money, the cooperative wrote: “Wolverine projects over $200 million of capital spending over the next two years for a new 440 MW gas-fired power plant, a new headquarters building, and upgrades and replacements for its existing transmission, generation, and distribution electric plant.” It didn’t add details about the new gas-fired plant.

Wolverine in October 2014 announced plans to develop a gas-fired, simple-cycle peaker called the Alpine Power Plant near Gaylord, Michigan. The cooperative said it plans to get the project in operation in 2016.

A Dec. 17, 2014, air permit application filed with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality said that Alpine consists of:

  • Two new simple-cycle combustion turbine generators (CTGs). Each CTG will be rated at a nominal 2,015 Million British thermal units per hour (MMBtu/hr) heat input and nominal 205.3 Megawatt (electric) [MWe] output at 100% load and 59⁰F, and 2,045 MMBtu/hr and 203.3 MWe output at an ambient temperature of 81⁰F. These new CTGs will only be capable of firing natural gas. Air pollution control technology for each CTG includes burner designs and modern combustion controls that will inherently minimize NOX, carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compound (VOC), particulate matter (PM), potential organic toxic air contaminants (TACs) and organic hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). Using natural gas fuel also limits potential condensable particulate matter (CPM) and greenhouse gas (GHG) due to the use of low sulfur and lower carbon content fuel.
  • A new diesel-fired emergency generator rated at 1,500 kilowatt (electric) [kWe] (approximately 2011 horse power [HP]) output for emergency electrical generation. The emergency generator’s annual operation will be limited to 100 hours per year (hr/yr).
  • A new diesel-fueled reciprocating internal combustion engine (RICE) Fire Pump, rated at 347 HP output for emergency backup operation will be installed in the event the normal electrically driven fire pump(s) would be out of service for any reason (such as loss of electrical power). The backup fire pump’s operation will also be limited to 100 hr/yr.
  • Two new natural gas-fired indirectly heated CTG natural gas fuel heaters (one per CTG). Each will be rated at a nominal 3.5 MMBtu/hr heat input.

Said the air permit application: “Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc. (FTCH) has been retained by Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc. (Wolverine) to submit a Permit to Install (PTI) application for two gas-fired, simple-cycle combustion turbine generators (CTGs), a new diesel-fired emergency generator, a new diesel-fueled fire pump, and two new natural gas-fired fuel heaters at a Greenfield site located near Elmira, Michigan (west of the City of Gaylord, Michigan). The plant will generate electricity as required by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) primarily during peak electric demand time periods. The new facility will be located near the east corner of M-32 and Flott Road in Elmira Township, Otsego County, Michigan.”

Wolverine is a Michigan-based not-for-profit generation and transmission electric cooperative that provides wholesale service to its seven members and is subject to the commission’s jurisdiction under the Federal Power Act. Wolverine has five traditional distribution cooperative member-owners: Cherryland Electric Cooperative, Great Lakes Energy Cooperative, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Midwest Energy Cooperative, and Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op.

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.