GlidePath option one component of good planning

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh approved selling an option to purchase 120 acres located in the Gwinn Management Unit to GlidePath Power, LLC of Elmhurst, Illinois for $10,000, with a sale price for the land of $171,600 if the option is completed.

GlidePath has proposed building a new natural gas-fired power plant in southern Marquette County, west of Arnold. We think this type of development effort is essential to the future of the Upper Peninsula and its ability to have more sources of electric power generation or transmission.

Steve Sutton, DNR real estate section manager in Lansing, said the location of the proposed Glidepath plant would be near a natural gas line, an electricity transmission line and an access road.

Sutton said GlidePath purchased the option in an effort to demonstrate it has viable site control to the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., which oversees the electrical grid in the Upper Midwest and part of Canada.

The issue of new sources of electricity generation or transmission for the U.P. has become especially important in recent months given the uncertain future of the coal-fired Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette.

In addition to the GlidePath proposal, we have confirmed there is another project proposed for the U.P., though details have not been easy to come by given confidentiality issues.

We know Gov. Rick Snyder and his administration have been working on ways to improve the power grid reliability situation and we trust those efforts will continue. We think the GlidePath development is one of the first recent glimmers of hope we’ve seen amid a steady stream of bad news about the Presque Isle Plant, the potential ramifications of its closure or its continued operation into the future.

It’s not surprising Creagh would support the option for the GlidePath development project, but we still think it’s good he took the action he did with an eye on the future of our region.