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Detroit Edison Turns On the Gas Power

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 program.

"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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ISSN © 2577-9877 | ISSN © 1532-1266
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