CloverlandMore positive developments regarding Cloverland Electric Co-operative and the situation regarding power rates in the Eastern UP. Cloverland President and CEO Dan Dasho updated City Commissioners on Monday night about what has been going on over the last few weeks. The first domino to fall in the favour of Cloverland and its customers may have been when the mines went back to Wisconsin Electric last month — Wisconsin Electric had been wanting Cloverland customers to pay millions of dollars for operating the Presque’Isle power plant in Marquette…

S-S-R costs are those expenses related to system security resources, such as the Presque’Isle plant. Wisconsin Electric had been attempting to stall any pulling of the payments charged to Cloverland until the summer — until the state legislature and Congress took action. This resulted in Wisconsin Electric being told by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to re-do a study on backing up any costs charged to people who ‘benefit’ from the plant. Dasho says the positive developments over the last month have been a result of various groups declaring their concerns over the higher costs that would be charged by Wisconsin Electric through Cloverland to customers in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. You could call it an example of ‘people power’…

Cloverland has received 15 thousand hits on its website in the last couple of weeks alone — a sign that customers have been following this situation with great interest. The recent developments have resulted in a dramatic reduction in Cloverland’s costs in S-S-R payments — from as high 22 million down to about 4 million dollars. Dasho says the work to resolve the controversial issue over who should pay to operate Presque’Isle isn’t done yet…

The bottom line is that Cloverland customers won’t have to pay sky high bills to cover the operation cost — something that was feared only a few months ago. The next update from Cloverland is expected to happen around May 1st. That’s the deadline for MISO — the Midcontinent Independent System Operator — to decide how exactly costs from using the plant for electricity will be determined.