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Regulators Ask For More Details in Upper Michigan Power Dispute

Upper Peninsula customers won’t see an electric rate increase this week, as federal regulators wait for more information about the region’s electricity use. 

When mining company Cliffs Natural Resources switched to a cheaper source of power, there wasn’t much demand left for WE Energies’ Presque Isle Power Plant near Marquette.  But a regional regulator called MISO said the plant couldn’t shut down it would compromise the reliability of the grid.

Michigan authorities have cried foul over a plan that would shift almost all the cost of the plant’s operation onto a small base of UP customers. 

But before ruling on the situation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has asked for more details about how that’s being calculated.

WE Energies spokesperson Brian Manthey says the delay is a good thing. 

“It’s important that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission take a closer look at just which entities are actually benefiting from the continued running of the Presque Isle Power Plant, and that that’s where those costs should be allocated.”

MISO, the Midwest transmission organization, has 30 days to respond with more information about who it thinks should pay for what.  

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