WHITE PINE, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) has executed a 90-day notice cancelling the System Support Resource (SSR) services of White Pine Electric Power, LLC, effective November 26, 2016. This decision puts Michigan citizens at risk for a reduction in electrical reliability within the Western Upper Peninsula, as stated in the study used to support the cancellation.
The MISO study used to determine the cancellation of the White Pine Unit 1 System Support Resource Agreement did not properly evaluate all of the scenarios related to unplanned power outages, putting the most vulnerable and marginalized citizens at risk. It is critical that MISO re-evaluate and properly study all systemic shortcomings in the existing system and the very real risks they pose to the citizens of the state of Michigan.
The White Pine facility provides a critical failsafe for Michigan’s vulnerable power grid in the very real situations of unplanned or peak power needs throughout the Western Upper Peninsula region.
To address that vulnerability the decision has been made to begin construction on two 170 megawatt generators that will come on line in 2020. However that still leaves four years until this new infrastructure is constructed, which means four years of vulnerability for the majority of the Western Upper Peninsula. The reliability of the system is in a compromised position, especially since it sits in one of the most unpredictable regions for weather in the entire country.i
“White Pine provides a reliable service in very specific and potentially catastrophic situations such as unplanned outages resulting from ice storms and other natural disasters, as well as providing backup power when other facilities are down for planned maintenance,” said Brent Zettl, Chairman of the Board, White Pine Electric Power. “This is a short-sighted decision by MISO that they claim is about utility rates. It should be about ensuring that there is reliable power for all residents in the Western Upper Peninsula until the new generators are fully functional. We are talking here about the equivalent to a cup of coffee per month to keep White Pine operational in critical situations.”
Since the White Pine Unit 1 System Support Resource Agreement was signed in 2014, the facility has been called upon multiple times, providing up to 17,500 of kilowatt hours of energy within the area. The MISO study concluded that the removal of the White Pine Support Agreement would continue to reduce the electrical reliability in the state and increase the risk of consequential load loss.