Energy Problem

MEC Part 1

MEC Part 2



The MBLP, through a number of events, has come to realize that we have a reliability problem because of constraints in the transmission grid, aging generation assets and environmental regulations.

  • Marquette is located in a load pocket (insufficient transmission system capacity to serve load during an emergency). The MBLP needs to generate power locally for reliability reasons.
  • As of October 31, 2014, MISO has denied any MBLP requests for any amount of firm point to point transmission service. Even during the MBLP unit maintenance and upgrade outages, firm transmission has been denied.
  • The Presque Isle Power Plant (PIPP) is planned for retirement in 2020. The loss of these units at PIPP will have a major impact on the transmission system reliability in the north central U.P.
  • If there is an outage of Unit 3 (44 MW) and a transmission system upset, the MBLP may be cut off from purchasing power which would result in blackouts for our area.
  • The BLP is in need of quick start, available any time, generation to ensure ongoing reliability and low cost rates for its customers.
  • Network Integrated Transmission Services (NITS) which costs over $3 million a year just to join the network may not be available for 4 or more years.
  • The MBLP generation units are aging with an average age of 38 years.
    • Our newest main unit is Shiras Steam Plant Unit No. 3. This was commissioned over 32 years ago.
    • Unit No 2 is over 44 years old and takes 10 hours to start. On 1/31/2017, in order to meet new environmental regulations, we will only be able to use it 10 percent of the time without having to invest large amounts of money.
    • Our fuel oil fired Combustion Turbine is over 36 years and used only during emergencies.