Michigan’s Wolverine Power says it has the capacity it needs for 2015-2019

Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, for itself and on behalf of its seven members, told the Michigan Public Service Commission in a Feb. 17 report that there will be adequate generating capacity to serive their customers in the 2015-2019.

The commission, concerned about thousands of MWs of mostly coal-fired retirements coming up in and around Michigan, had in December ordered utilities serving the state to report on their capacity situations in the 2015-2019 period.

The Feb. 17 assessment addresses what Wolverine considers to be three separate resource portfolios: Wolverine’s traditional poles and wires distribution cooperative member-owners (called the “Transmission Members”); Wolverine Power Marketing Cooperative (WPMC); and Spartan Renewable Energy Inc. Wolverine said it will have sufficient capacity to meet its members’ requirements during all seasons from 2015 through 2019.

MISO and PJM Capacity Resources to Meet the Needs of its Members:

  • Native Generation – Wolverine’s portfolio for its Transmission Members, WPMC, and Spartan includes 628 MW of summer generation capacity owned and operated by Wolverine. Wolverine expects to add an additional 384 MW of summer capacity by the summer of 2016, for a total of 1,012 MW of owned generation. Two units at the greenfield Alpine gas-fired peaking project in Michigan, with 192 MW each of UCAP capacity, are due in operation in 2016. None of Wolverine’s existing gas-fired units, including JUDD 1-4 and Gaylord 1-3, are shown with any capacity changes in the 2015-2019 period.
  • MISO Capacity Purchase – Wolverine has purchased MISO Zone 7 capacity from other entities to meet its additional requirements for its Transmission Members, WPMC, and Spartan for 2015. This purchased capacity has been included in the MISO Module E Capacity Tracking (MECT) application to verify that no units were oversubscribed.
  • PJM Capacity Purchase – Wolverine has purchased capacity through an all requirements contract to serve its obligations in PJM through 2017. After 2017, Wolverine expects to purchase its capacity requirements from the PJM forward capacity market.
  • PJM Capacity Sale – Wolverine has sold its 6.65% ownership interest (121 MW UCAP capacity) in two Ohio Valley Electric Corp. (OVEC) coal-fired generating facilities in the PJM forward capacity market.

“Through its owned generation and additional capacity contracts, Wolverine will have sufficient reserves in place to meet the forecasted demands during the summer peak seasons of 2015 through 2019, to meet the portfolio load requirements and reserve margins of its Transmission Members, WPMC, and Spartan,” the report said. “Wolverine remains committed to delivering reliable and competitively priced power supply to its members.”

Said the commission in its Dec. 4 order opening this docket: “[T]he Commission is very concerned that Michigan faces capacity shortfalls (i.e., resources not adequate to cover expected demand plus an adequate reserve margin) as early as 2016 when numerous coal fired power plants are retired due to federal environmental regulations. Expected capacity shortfalls increase the probability of electric outages resulting from potential shortages during peak load periods, extreme weather, equipment failures, or other system disruptions. Therefore, the provision of adequate resources requires prompt attention by the Commission and Michigan’s [load-serving entities] to ensure that capacity supplies are adequately planned and available to reliably meet customer demand, including customers served by alternative electric suppliers. The assessments will not solve this capacity shortfall or serve as a forum to identify and evaluate capacity solutions but the assessments are intended to provide a meaningful and transparent picture of the supply outlook and associated risks for the state as a whole and for individual providers. Toward that end, the Commission stresses the need for complete, accurate, and detailed reporting by LSEs.”

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.