Presque Isle Power Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

Presque Isle Power Plant was a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Wisconsin Energy near Marquette, Michigan.


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Plant Data

  • Owner: Wisconsin Electric Power Company
  • Parent Company: Wisconsin Energy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 450 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 90 MW (1974), 90 MW (1975), 90 MW (1978), 90 MW (1978), 90 MW (1979)
  • Location: 2701 Lakeshore Blvd., Marquette, MI 49855
  • GPS Coordinates: 46.581489, -87.38891
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements: The power plant was retired in March 2019.[1]

Unit Retirement

We Energies had planned to cut operations at the Presque Isle Power Plant starting in February 2014. We Energies sought to suspend the plant operations after losing its biggest customer, Cliffs Resources Inc., the operator of two iron ore mines. We Energies lost more than 85% of its total energy demand in Michigan when the mines and other customers left. The utility said it no longer needed to run the power plant to meet its own customers' needs for electricity.

But the transmission organization Midcontinent Independent System Operator denied the utility's request to suspend operations at the plant, saying the plant was needed in order to ensure grid reliability. We is in talks with MISO "to compensate the company for that continued operation." MISO will report the amount of money to be paid to We Energies -- and how much must be picked up by ratepayers -- in a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.[2]

In January 2015 it was reported that the power station would close in 2019.[3]

In August 2016, WEC Energy Group together with Cliffs Natural Resources, operator of the Tilden iron-ore mine, announced plans for construction of multiple large natural gas-fired internal combustion engines at two sites in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The gas engines would produce 170 megawatts of power. If approved by Michigan’s Public Service Commission, it would be built by 2019.[4]

On March 31, 2019 Upper Michigan Energy Resources announced the closure of Presque Isle Power Plant.[5] Power generation from the A. J. Mihm and F. D. Kuester plants has been brought on-line to replace the generation capacity. These plants are natural gas powered.[6]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 3,984,922 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 16,514 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 7,274 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 122 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Presque Isle Power Plant

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[7] Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. To monetize the health impact of fine particle pollution from each coal plant, Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[8]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Presque Isle Power Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 31 $230,000,000
Heart attacks 49 $5,400,000
Asthma attacks 500 $26,000
Hospital admissions 22 $530,000
Chronic bronchitis 19 $8,300,000
Asthma ER visits 29 $11,000

Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011

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