Like Local 3 News on Facebook:
Negaunee Township — After more than a year and a half of construction, the state-of-the-art natural gas-powered generating station in Negaunee is finally completed.
It was a chance to look inside one of the two massive power generating machines today, with the opening of the natural gas power plant at the F.D. Kuester Generating Station in Negaunee Township.
Richard Rayborn, Director of the Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corporation says, “Negaunee Township and the people in the area have been very supportive of our project. We held an open house back during the construction phase of our project, and we just thought it would be a great idea and an opportunity for people that live and work in the area to be able to come and see the facility now that construction is complete.”
The generating station is fueled by natural gas: a clean technology that is becoming more prevalent in the United States.
Richard Rayborn continues, ” Our company is very proud that we’re one of the few companies, especially in the Midwest, to utilize this technology. It’s called reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine. It’s really like a large scale engine for an automobile, and it’s a great energy source.”
This facility – and another one in Baraga — are providing more than 180 megawatts of clean, reliable, natural gas-fueled electric generation.
The new units are expected to save customers nearly $600 million over the next 30 years compared to other electricity alternatives.
Plans for these two generating stations date back to 2015 when then Governor Snyder and others issued a call to action to solve the Upper Peninsula’s electric reliability crisis.
The Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corporation worked in partnership with key stakeholders including state and local officials to provide this reliable, affordable and clean energy solution.
With an estimated cost of about $275 million, each engine is 46 feet long and 20 feet tall and weighs approximately 325 tons.