At best, additional study is needed that will delay the decision until spring 2006
HOUGHTON, MI – Officials of Upper Peninsula Power Company, a subsidiary of WPS Resources Corporation (NYSE: WPS), said today that new dam design requirements recommended by a panel of consultants could make restoring the Silver Lake Dam and refilling the reservoir economically unfeasible.
The panel of consultants offered a list of recommendations and alternatives, some significant and others not. The company prefers not to discuss the options until it has had time to thoroughly review them and conduct its own analysis. UPPCO expects to complete its studies by the end of the first quarter of 2006.
“We’ve said all along that while we would like to refill the reservoir, we could only do so if it were economically viable for UPPCO,” said Gary Erickson, President. “Under the original design, that was possible. With the new concepts, however, we’re no longer certain the economics are there.
“UPPCO will not refill the reservoir unless it can generate enough electricity from the dam to fund the project. We can’t pass along the costs of a losing proposition to all of our customers,” he said.
Erickson also said the company had not made the decision to forego refilling the reservoir but that more time was needed to study the ramifications of design changes recommended by the consultants.
UPPCO will undertake additional studies of the new design recommendations to see if there are alternatives that would make restoring the Silver Lake Dam and refilling the reservoir feasible.
“We’d still like to restore the dam and refill Silver Lake because we know it’s important to the area,” said Erickson. “Let’s just hope the new study supports that.”
UPPCO expects to make its final decision on Silver Lake before May 1, 2006.
For More Information, Contact:
* Gary Erickson
* UPPCO Customer Service