Consumers Power Co. has asked the Michigan Public Service Commission to approve a Special Competitive Service (SCS) rate to help retain industrial customers who threaten to leave the system. The SCS rate would be offered to customers who can obtain their power elsewhere and to new customers considering locating or expanding facilities in Michigan. "[A]pproval of this rate would grant Consumers Power the ability to negotiate special contracts with certain `at risk' large industrial customers which have competitive energy supply options," says Michael G. Morris, Consumers Power president. "Consumers Power must have the tools to provide competitive rates to protect and attract new Michigan jobs."
Consumers Power could apply the rate to Menasha Corp. of Otsego, MI, which informed the utility that it plans to buy the bulk of its power from a 20-megawatt (MW) cogeneration facility in the future. Menasha Corp. currently pays 4.8 to 5.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (›/Kwh) to Consumers Power. Under the SCS rate, the charge would fall in the range of 3.8 to 4.0›/Kwh, notes Dan Bishop, company spokesman.
Consumers Power hopes to unload 260 MW of excess capacity it is required to purchase from the Midland Cogeneration Venture for sale to nonjurisdictional customers. Municipal utilities have expressed concern over the rate proposal, but Consumers Power has pledged not to offer the SCS rate to any of their existing customers. (em LG
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