2017-11-30 / News

Refund Destined for Cloverland Electric, But More Charges Loom

Cloverland Electric Cooperative expects to receive about $550,000 in refunds from Wisconsin Energy, but other charges for running the Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette are still pending. In October, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) decided that Wisconsin Energy collected $20 million more than it should have to operate the plant, costs that were passed onto electric utilities in the Upper Peninsula like Cloverland. While other charges still loom, a court case will determine whether Cloverland and, by extension, its customers will be on the hook for another $6.2 million.

Cloverland has been protesting the charges associated with the Marquette plant since 2014, when the issue was first raised. At that time, Wisconsin Energy tried to have Upper Peninsula residents pay $65 million to operate the plant for one year, because the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) said the plant was needed for reliability.

But last month, FERC ordered that the costs were unjust and unreasonable, calling for a refund.

Following the refund, Wisconsin Energy is still seeking the remaining balance to run the plant, about $45 million. MISO told Cloverland Electric that it should expect an invoice for about $6.2 million in December. But the Washington, D.C. court case could impact that number since it will decide whether FERC can legally retroactively set electric rates.

“We are requesting the circuit court eliminate any charges to Cloverland,” said President and CEO Dan Dasho. “We will continue to fight to reduce or eliminate these costs to Cloverland members.”

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