Updates from Cloverland’s Chief Operating Officer, Pat Frazier

Transmission Line to Canada

The Hatch Ltd. feasibility analysis on creating a transmission line connection to Canada is underway. Cloverland management is meeting with the Department of Energy to determine the legality of the Presidential Permit first issued in 2001. We also need to understand the variability and flexibility with this permit. We are in discussions with Hydro One and the Batchewana Tribe to understand the goals for each entity and determine how to construct this connection once we finalize the permit.

Given Cloverland’s unique geographic location surrounded by three Great Lakes, the potential transmission line connection to Canada reduces vulnerabilities for our infrastructure and strengthens the service for our members. Currently, half of our power comes from Wisconsin and we are connected to the lower Peninsula through a cable in the Straits of Mackinac. Connecting to Canada provides greater opportunities to utilize additional power supply resources to support Cloverland’s needs once it no longer is contractually obligated to Wisconsin Energy Corporation (2029). This third electric connection to the grid also provides resiliency to help support our members should another event take place such as the anchor strike that occurred in 2018. Lastly, the state of Michigan is pushing to increase its Renewable Portfolio Standard significantly. With the creation of American Rural Cooperative (ARC) Power, a generation and transmission cooperative, Cloverland can utilize this connection to support other utilities in the state that will need to increase their renewable energy mixture in their energy portfolio.

For previous articles on the connection to Canada or other Managers’ Messages, visit Cloverland.com.

House of Bargains building annex demolition

As we communicated in our July|August Connections, engineering studies concluded that structural concerns with the House of Bargains one-story annex would impact hydro plant production and operations if the structure failed. Demolition of the annex is now complete. This process involved removing all materials from inside the structure, removing roofing membrane, installing cabling system to support the south wall during the process, filling openings in the east wall to make it waterproof and secure, then finally demolition of the walls.

The cost-benefit analysis for the remainder of the two-story structure is still being studied.

Canal work

Work on the 2 ¼ mile canal that fuels the hydroelectric plant are underway between Bingham and Ashmun Streets. The objective of this work is to refurbish the deteriorating canal walls which could cause significant impacts to the operation of the hydro plant if they failed. Ongoing maintenance greatly reduces the chance of failures while increasing longevity to the canal.

Cloverland’s hydroelectric plant generates nearly 30% of renewable energy for the cooperative’s 34,000 members across the Eastern Upper Peninsula. An additional 20% is produced by the US Corps of Engineers’ hydro plant. Continual repairs and maintenance of the power canal and hydroelectric plant are vital to Cloverland’s infrastructure – and keeping our rates affordable.