More information is now known concerning the about-face in the deal to sell the Presque Isle Power Plant.
WE Energies will not be selling the Upper Peninsula-Based power plant to UPPCO as planned under an energy agreement announced in January.
Instead the Wisconsin company will operate the plant until it’s expected closure in 2020.
State Senator Tom Casperson says talks between UPPCO and Cliffs Natural Resources broke down over future power costs once UPPCO was to buy the plant from WE Energies.
Casperson says it’s important that Michigan be responsible for its own power generation.
Under the deal, Michigan will no longer object to the $9.1 billion merger between WE Energies and Integrys.
It also resolves objections from Cloverland Electric Cooperative over the sale of WE Energies’ operations to UPPCO.
The co-op wanted first right of refusal of WE Energies assets under the original agreement that would have had WE Energies leaving the state.
WE Energies is also expected to play a role in the development of a natural gas gernerator at Cliffs that will eventually replace the Presque Isle Power Plant.
Part of the deal is that WE Energies operate as a Michigan-only utility.
Casperson is expected to introduce legislation to make that happen.