Wolverine Power plans new $100 million plant

Associated Press

Elmira Township, Mich. — Wolverine Power Cooperative plans to build a natural gas-fueled power plant in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula.

Cadillac-based Wolverine said Wednesday that it would build the electricity plant in Otsego County’s Elmira Township, west of Gaylord, and that it would cost more than $100 million. Wolverine says the Alpine Power Plant, if approved, will be built with existing funds and will have little, if any, effect on rates.

“Our Alpine Power Plant will provide a nice balance to Wolverine’s existing power supply portfolio, while at the same time increasing electrical reliability in Northern Michigan and complementing the ever increasing amount of renewable energy in Michigan,” Wolverine spokesman Ken Bradstreet said in a statement.

The cooperative said the nearly 170-acre site for the plant was chosen, in part, because of the convergence of existing interstate natural gas pipelines and high-voltage electric transmission lines on the property. Wolverine wants to start construction next year.

The plans need state and local approval. The cooperative said it plans to meet both the Elmira Township and Otsego County planning commissions within the next month. It also will submit an application for an air quality permit to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

The new plant could begin operations in 2016 if the project moves forward as planned, the cooperative said.

Wolverine provides wholesale power to six Michigan electric cooperatives: Cherryland Electric Cooperative, Great Lakes Energy, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Midwest Energy Cooperative, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op, Spartan Renewable Energy and Wolverine Power Marketing Cooperative.