* Project to cost about $800 mln over 10 years
* Project to boost plant output 16 pct to 2,172 MW
NEW YORK, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison plan to invest $800 million over 10 years to upgrade the 1,872-megawatt Ludington pumped storage hydropower plant in Michigan.
The companies said in a release Monday the project would create 100 construction jobs per year and increase the plant’s output by 16 percent to about 2,172 MW.
Each utility said it would invest about $40 million a year over the next decade. The project is scheduled to run from 2013 through 2019.
Ludington entered service in 1973.
Consumers Energy, a unit of CMS Energy Inc (CMS.N), operates the plant and owns 51 percent of the facility. Detroit Edison, a unit of DTE Energy Inc (DTE.N), owns the other 49 percent.
The companies said Ludington can store clean energy produced by wind farms as more wind generation is added in the Midwest region.
The companies picked Toshiba International Corp to manufacture and install equipment to increase the efficiency and output of the plant’s six 312-MW hydropower units.
At night when demand for power is low, the Ludington plant pumps water from Lake Michigan uphill 372 feet to its 27 billion gallon reservoir. During the day when power demand is high, the water is released through turbines to generate electricity.
The plant currently produces enough power for a community of 1.4 million people. The upgrade will boost that to enough for 1.65 million, the companies said. ———————————————————————————————- PLANT BACKGROUND/TIMELINE STATE: Michigan COUNTY: Mason TOWN: Ludington about 160 miles (257 km) northwest of
Lansing, the state capital OPERATOR: Consumers Energy OWNER(S): - Consumers Energy (51 pct)
- Detroit Edison (49 pct) CAPACITY: 1,872 MW UNIT(S): Six 312-MW hydropower units FUEL: Hydro DISPATCH: Intermediate TIMELINE: 1966 - Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison agree to build
the plant 1969-73 - Plant construction 1973 - Plant enters service 2013-2019 - Owners to spend about $800 million to renovate the
plant (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by John Picinich)