Detroit Edison Turns On the Gas Power
While winter continues to grip Michigan, Detroit Edison already
is preparing for summer peak electricity demand. The company told
the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) it has taken a series
of steps to keep its growing customer base cool during the
scorching days of Summer 2000 when demand for electricity is
expected to reach record levels.
"We're confident that we'll have adequate resources available to
meet the demand of our customers throughout this summer, both
reliably and economically," said Michael Champley, senior vice
president. "Most of our 2 million customers now have some form of
air conditioning which increases demand on our system, but we'll
keep them humming this summer."
Champley said the utility has forecasted a peak demand of 12,077
MW because of population and economic growth in the region, a 3.2%
increase from last summer. Including a 15% reserve margin to cover
unexpected generation and transmission limitations, Detroit
Edison's plan calls for a total of 13,516 MW of supply resources to
be available this summer. Key steps taken by the utility to meet
electrical demand this summer include the addition of 1,025 MW of
internal generating capacity plus an additional 225 MW by
restarting River Rouge Unit 1 as a gas-fired generating unit. Last
summer, Detroit Edison returned to service its 200 MW Conners Creek
Power Plant, which also was converted to gas from coal. Detroit
Edison will have 11,316 MW of generating capability under its
control this summer. It also has contracts to purchase 2,100 MW of
additional electric capacity from other suppliers. Furthermore it
has obtained firm electric transmission capacity from several
geographically diverse locations in the United States. This assures
that power purchased from utilities outside Michigan can reach the
state. At its disposal, Detroit Edison also has voluntary and
MPSC-approved interruptible agreements with customers.
The implementation of Michigan's Electric Choice program has
created some uncertainty related to potential electrical demand.
Detroit Edison customers, representing about 1,000 MW of electrical
demand, will have the opportunity to purchase power from other
electricity suppliers, but Detroit Edison will be prepared to
continue serving all customers during the initial stages of the
"In total, we have increased our generating capability by 1,250
MW since Summer 1998, the result of innovative modifications at our
generating units, restarting existing generating units and the use
of new technology," Champley said. He added that other electricity
suppliers have added another 840 MW of generating capacity in
Michigan during that time.
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