Electricity Production and Delivery

We Energies continually produces electricity to meet our customer's needs. Electricity is
produced at power plants, which typically use fuel to produce heat to boil water and create
steam to spin a large fan called a turbine. The turbine rotates a large magnet to create an
electrical charge that is then delivered through a network of transmission and distribution
facilities to our customers. We Energies uses several different fuel sources to produce

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  1. Coal-fueled plants are a lower-cost generation, used around the clock to meet
    customer demand. The coal is transported to the plants by rail or ship. While coal is
    plentiful and transportation dependable, new technology is continually developed to
    improve the efficiency, cleanliness and safety of this type of generation.
  2. Natural-gas-fueled plants are used only at times of the day when customer demand
    is greatest, because it is a more costly fuel. Natural gas is transported to plants by

  3. Nuclear plants run almost continuously to meet customer demand, because they have
    no emissions and low fuel costs. They are fueled with uranium that releases heat when
    split into microscopic pieces (nuclear fission).

  4. Wind turbines use large propeller-like rotors to spin turbines. Steady winds of about 12
    miles per hour are needed to economically generate electricity from wind power.

  5. Hydroelectric plants use the force of falling water to spin the turbines.

  6. Bio-mass plants are fueled by organic materials such as crop residue, construction
    waste or un-recyclable paper to produce the heat to drive the steam turbines. Other
    types of bio-mass plants burn methane from landfills or farm waste.

  7. Purchased energy is obtained from other power producers and then delivered through the
    transmission and distribution facilities to help meet customer demand. Purchased power is
    used when it is less costly than We Energies generation or when customer demand exceeds
    We Energies generating capacity.

  8. Step-up transformers increase the voltage so electricity can be delivered long distances
    on transmission lines.

  9. Transmission lines carry the high-voltage electricity from power plants to the customer.
    The transmission system in Michigan 's Upper Peninsula, eastern Wisconsin and portions of
    Illinois is owned and operated by the American Transmission Company.

  10. Step-down transformers are located at substations. They decrease the voltage to make
    it acceptable for customer use.

  11. Poles carry the distribution wires that lead from substations to homes and businesses. The
    We Energies distribution system has more than 40,000 miles of power lines, 679,000 poles,
    and 265,000 transformers.

  12. Transformers are located on some poles to further reduce voltage.

  13. We Energies provides electricity to approximately 95,000 small and medium size
    that receive power through a wire called a service drop much like homes. From
    there the electricity goes through the service panel and is branched off to separate circuits throughout a facility. Some equipment may require different voltages, or three- phase
    power, which We Energies provides as needed.

  14. We Energies has approximately 1.3 million residential customers that receive power to their
    through a service drop, which enters through an electric meter. From there, it goes
    to a service panel, where it branches into separate circuits for each area of a home.

  15. Some homes have equipment to generate some or all of their own electricity, such as
    generators, solar panels and wind turbines. Customer choosing to do this can be
    connected to the We Energies distribution system.

  16. Pad transformers are located on the ground and function the same as pole-mounted
    transformers, which reduce the voltage for use in homes and businesses.

  17. Underground cables are similar to overhead wires, which delivery electricity from
    substations to homes and businesses.

  18. Large businesses, such as factories, paper mills, or foundaries, have special power needs.
    We Energies works with each of our approximately 5,000 large business customers to
    provide the right amount of power at the right voltage. Some large customers own and
    maintain their own substations and transformers to meet their facility's specific power

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