F.D. Kuester Power Plant
UMERC expects the reciprocating engines to save consumers around $600 million over the next 30 years. The two plants replace capacity from the now-retired Presque Isle coal-fired power facility.
“The new generating stations are good for our customers, good for business and good for electric reliability throughout the U.P.,” says Kevin Fletcher, president and CEO of UMERC parent WEC Energy Group.
With automation critical to long-term operations of the two facilities, redundancy was a key feature of plant design. All equipment and systems have backups in place, meaning plant availability would be unaffected should any single piece of equipment fail during unmanned hours.
A.J. Mihm Power Plant
In addition to setting new standards for automated controls, the facilities are among the cleanest and quietest in the industry. The exhaust systems include selective catalytic reduction with urea injection to control emissions, and a ductwork and stack silencing system to limit sound. Other sound-dampening components include concrete walls, heavy steel roof decks and sound baffles on roof ventilation equipment.
Burns & McDonnell was selected as the EPC contractor for both plants in late 2017, and construction started in April 2018. From the beginning, an aggressive schedule was maintained in order to have all critical equipment delivered and buildings enclosed before the start of winter. In the Upper Peninsula, cumulative snowfall can reach 150 inches or more.
“This was a challenging project, but those are the ones that can break new ground on design and construction to be used as models on other plants in the future,” Burnett says. “From sound attenuation and automation to plant safety and dispatch efficiency, we were able to deliver these two plants with everything the customer asked for.”
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