I&M planning major improvements at Cook Nuclear Power Plant

Donald Cook Nuclear Power Plant 1993

Indiana Michigan Power is looking to make enhancements at the Cook Nuclear Plant in Berrien County.

On Monday, June 24, the utility announced a Michigan Plan that calls for$ 478 million in infrastructure improvements to happen in the next year at the Cook Plant.

The plan was submitted to the Michigan Public Service Commission.

It incorporates the first two years of a 5-year Distribution Reliability Plan that calls for the replacement of more than 40 miles of wire and other equipment, as well as 1,200 poles.

To support the Michigan plan, I&M has asked regulators to review its base rates. The monthly increase for a typical residential customer would be about $36 dollars.

Below is the full news release from Indiana Michigan Power regaring the Michigan Plan:

Indiana Michigan Power seeks to continue to enhance its infrastructure at
Cook Nuclear Plant and across southwest Michigan in plans submitted Monday to the Michigan Public Service Commission.

I&M’s Michigan Plan calls for $478 million in infrastructure improvements over 2019-2020 at Cook Nuclear Plant, which generates enough energy to power more than 1.5 million homes. With 1,200 fulltime employees and a record of community involvement, Cook Plant has long been important to the economy of southwest Michigan while serving customers with emission-free energy 24/7/365.

The plan also incorporates the first two years of I&M’s five-year Distribution Reliability Plan, which is designed to ensure safe, reliable and accessible energy at reasonable rates. Over 2019 and 2020, I&M plans to replace more than 1,200 poles, 40 miles of wires and other equipment as it nears expected lifespans. At the same time, I&M’s Michigan Plan details steps to modernize and strengthen the energy grid with more high-tech equipment to reduce the number, extent and duration of power outages.

“Cook Nuclear Plant is vital to I&M’s generation system and is a major driver of the southwest Michigan economy – largely because of well-planned, cost-effective investments and thorough, efficient maintenance and operations,” said Toby Thomas, President and Chief Operating Officer of I&M.

“In addition to supporting Cook Plant, I&M’s Michigan Plan will boost our reliability infrastructure by proactively updating poles and wires while adding more high-tech equipment to power lines, substations and homes,” Thomas added. “I&M’s Michigan Plan takes another big step toward better serving ourcustomers and meeting their energy needs.”

I&M’s Michigan Plan includes:

• Addressing the No. 1 cause of customer outages by continued, systematic tree trimming,
including trimming along more than 1,000 line miles in 2019-2020.
• Developing a stronger, smarter grid by investing in advanced technological equipment that enhances reliability by automatically detecting and addressing possible system problems.
• Providing customers with new smart meters that will reduce outage times and empower
customers with more information about their energy use.
• Giving most Michigan residential and small commercial customers an option for having a flat monthly bill that remains unchanged over 12 months, with no requirement for a year-end settling-up adjustment.
• Eliminating the service charge for income-qualified customers while encouraging energy
efficiency measures to reduce energy use.
• Moving 24 miles of lines now in problematic, hard-to-reach – sometimes swampy – areas.
• Adding more ways to support electric car charging, which benefits the electric grid and all
customers. The Michigan Plan adds to existing incentives for residential electric car charging by including programs for businesses and apartment buildings.
• Helping southwest Michigan communities by enhancing job opportunities through reimbursing employers for qualifying apprenticeships and training.
• Creating a new Building Development Program to help construct spec buildings that are
important for job-creators seeking quickly available locations.

To support these and other elements of the Michigan Plan, I&M has asked the MPSC to review its base rates. The overall increase would be about $58.5 million, or 18.91 percent. The monthly increase for a typical residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours of energy per month would be $36.

The new monthly amount includes a residential service charge of $10 to update the true costs associated with providing meter reading, billing and collection and other customer-related services.

The Michigan Public Service Commission will review I&M’s proposal using a transparent process that offers opportunity for public review and input. Customers can learn more about I&M’s Michigan Plan and the regulatory rate review process at www.IndianaMichiganPower.com/MichiganPlan

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