Michigan utility talks with potential buyers of 900-kW Au Train

Upper Peninsula Power Co. remains interested in selling the dam, powerhouse, and project lands of 900-kW Au Train Dam to an entity that would continue to operate the Michigan hydroelectric project under license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. If that option fails, the utility said it would surrender its license and remove the dam. UPPCO said it is exploring the sale option with parties interested in buying and operating Au Train, subject to due diligence, negotiation of terms, and FERC approval. UPPCO said it expects to know if the option will be pursued through FERC by mid-summer. UPPCO previously invited bids by March 31 to purchase the project (No. 10856), on the Au Train River near Munising, Mich. (HNN 2/2/09) UPPCO once considered modifying the dam to meet safety standards but concluded costs would exceed revenue the dam would produce. If the Michigan utility is unable to sell the project as a hydropower producer, it will begin seeking FERC approval to surrender the license. Surrender could include planning to remove dam structures. "We hope to be able to sell the dam and will negotiate with that end in mind," UPPCO Vice President Keith Moyle said. "That could provide the best outcome for all. If we aren't able to sell it, however, we'll move down the path of surrendering the license and removing the dam."

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