Upgrade At Pumped-Storage Plant Will Help Wind Generation

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Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison, co-owners of the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant, have announced a maintenance and upgrade project that will mean investment in northwest Michigan, 100 construction jobs per year and a 16% increase in the plant's power generation.

In addition, as more wind generation is added in the Midwest region, the Ludington plant can be used at night and during other periods when demand for electricity is low to store the clean energy until it is needed by electric customers.

Each utility will invest approximately $40 million per year over 10 years. The Ludington plant has been providing Michigan with electricity since 1973.

‘The upgrades will improve its efficiency, increase its role in support of clean energy sources for Michigan, create jobs and ensure that the plant will continue to contribute to the economy of the Ludington area and Michigan for many more decades,’ says Steve Kurmas, president of Detroit Edison, 49% owner of the Ludington plant.

The upgrade project will begin in 2013 and is scheduled through 2019. The project is expected to provide economic benefits for the Mason County area and will create an additional 100 construction building trades jobs per year, employing electricians, welders, crane operators, pipefitters, millwrights and carpenters, according to Consumers Energy.

The maintenance and efficiency upgrade will increase the generating capacity of the plant from its current level of 1,872 MW to approximately 2,172 MW.

SOURCE: Consumers Energy

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