$230M natural gas storage purchase to yield substantial savings for customers

WEC Energy Group (WEC) announced in February 2017 an agreement to purchase Bluewater Natural Gas Holding LLC (Bluewater), at a total acquisition cost to WEC of $230 million. Bluewater owns an underground storage facility near Detroit, Michigan, that would provide approximately one-third of the storage needs of WEC’s natural gas distribution companies in Wisconsin. The purchase is expected to yield substantial savings to We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) natural gas customers in approximately four years, with savings increasing annually.

Bluewater, which has interconnections to hubs in Chicago, Illinois, and Dawn, Ontario, will enter into long-term service agreements with We Energies and WPS, and WEC will confirm with Wisconsin regulators that the terms of those agreements are reasonable. On Feb. 3, WEC filed with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) for prudency review of the agreements and approval of modifications to WEC's affiliated interest agreement to allow for efficient support of the storage facilities.

The proposed acquisition was entered into with a subsidiary of Plains All American Pipeline LP on Jan. 20 and was announced during WEC’s Feb. 1 quarterly analyst call.