Pumped storage plant upgrade

Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison, co-owners of the 1, 872 MW Ludington Pumped Storage Plant, have announced an $800 million maintenance and upgrade project that will increase the plant's power generation by 16 percent. Each utility will invest approximately $40 million per year over 10 years.

The upgrade project will begin in 2013 and is scheduled through 2019. When complete, the maintenance and efficiency upgrade will increase the generating capacity of the plant to approximately 2,172 MW. The Ludington plant plays an important role as a storage facility for renewable energy produced during off-peak periods.

The upgrade includes a major contract with Toshiba International Corp. for fabrication and installation of equipment to elevate the efficiency, output and reliability of the Ludington plant's six, 312 MW hydroelectric units.

The Ludington plant has been operational since 1973.

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