American Transmission fix allows November retirement of White Pine Unit 1 in Michigan

With compensating grid fixes in hand, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 1 a request to terminate a System Support Resource (SSR) agreement with White Pine Electric Power LLC.

The SSR provided for the continued availability of White Pine’s Unit No. 1 in Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula under MISO’s Open Access Transmission, Energy and Operating Reserve Markets Tariff. On April 21 of this year, MISO submitted this SSR agreement, which is the third one-year agreement involving the continued operation of White Pine 1 following an Attachment Y retirement notice submitted by WPEP in 2013. On June 20, 2016, the commission accepted the SSR agreement subject to refund and set issues of compensation under the agreement for hearing and settlement procedures.

Said the Sept. 1 notice: "MISO has determined that White Pine 1 is not required to serve in an SSR status past the ninety (90) days provided in MISO’s notice of termination, which releases White Pine 1 from SSR designation on November 26, 2016. Development of a reconfiguration plan on the American Transmission Company (‘ATC’) system renders the need unnecessary for continued service by White Pine 1 after November 26, 2016."

MISO reported in its filing of the SSR agreement that in the absence of an identified alternative, White Pine 1 would be required for reliability purposes until transmission reinforcements were completed to eliminate the thermal overload during planned outage conditions. The thermal overload was expected to be eliminated at the in-service date for MTEP Project 8089. That project would rebuild and convert the Lakota Rd – Mass-Winona 69kV transmission circuits by Dec. 31, 2021.

In July 2016, however, ATC proposed a transmission reconfiguration plan for use during planned outages that would eliminate the reliability issues. The plan specifies switching actions to open the local ATC transmission network in the western Upper Peninsula, which would split the area into two separate load pockets during limited periods of planned maintenance on the critical 138kV transmission lines.

White Pine Electric Power submitted its Attachment Y notice to MISO in October 2013 for the retirement of the White Pine Unit 1 effective April 16, 2014. White Pine Unit 1 is a coal‐fired generator with a capacity of 20 MW and is connected to the ATC 69kV transmission system.

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.