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Rick O’ Conor of We Energies discussed the development of two Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine (RICE) natural gas fired power plants in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to permit the shutdown of the coal-fired Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette. His presentation identified the alternatives considered ranging from extensive Air Quality Control System (AQCS) upgrades at Presque Isle to two new transmission lines. The selected alternative had a 157 million NPV advantage over the transmission alternative and offered significant operating and flexibility advantages over the next best solution of simple or open cycle combustion turbines. The plants are under construction with the ten 400 ton 18.8 MW Wärtsila engines delivered to site. The new plants are expected to be ready for service in mid-April 2019 to permit Presque Isle to shut down in June.
Rick also briefly discussed the recently announced solar plants being developed for WEC Energy by Invenergy and NextEra. These new facilities, totaling 300 MW, are targeted for service as soon as 2020.
Rick O'Conor receives a certificate of appreciation from ASME Milwaukee chair Bryan Eskra.