Hydropower projects are licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the current FERC license for the Ludington Pumped Storage Project (LPSP) expires on June 30, 2019. The Consumers Energy Company and DTE Electric Company (Licensees) will be applying for license renewal using FERC’s Integrated Licensing Process (ILP).

Project Description

The LPSP is a pumped storage generation facility that is located along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Mason County that uses Lake Michigan water for power generation. A typical generation cycle consists of pumping water from Lake Michigan to the upper reservoir through six pump-turbines in pump mode. This pumping occurs during times of low electricity demand, which normally occurs at night and on the weekends. During periods of high electricity demand, the water is released from the upper reservoir through the six pump-turbines for power generation. After passing through the pump-turbines, this water flows back into the Lake. In short, the cycle consists of passing water back and forth between Lake Michigan and the upper reservoir. Pumped storage projects, such as the Ludington Project, assist with grid reliability and play a key role in storing energy generated by intermittent renewable resources, such as wind, that generate during periods of low electrical demand. This energy is stored for use during periods of peak demand, thus improving the value and ability to dispatch these renewable resources. Pumped storage provides an effective, largescale way to store energy until needed to respond to high load demands.

Recreation Facilities

There are five formal recreation facilities associated with the LPSP. These facilities listed below provide a variety of amenities, including a campground, picnic area, fishing access, scenic overlook and a disc golf course:
  • Mason County Campground
  • Mason County Picnic Area
  • Upper Reservoir Observation Platform
  • Lake Michigan Overlook
  • Pigeon Lake North Pier - This site is located in Port Sheldon, approximately 70 miles south of the Project.
The locations of the facilities are shown below in the “Maps” section.

Process and Timeline

Process Description

The Integrated Licensing Process (ILP) will be used for re-licensing the LPSP. The ILP is FERC’s default licensing process and the ILP regulations define specific procedures and timelines for the re-licensing process. FERC designed the ILP to be a transparent process that involves all interested parties including Native American tribes, agencies, NGOs, and the public. Additional information on the process can be found here.

Relicensing Timeline and Schedule

Here’s more about the 2 year relicensing process for hydropower licenses and the 5.5-5 year before expiration for relicense.

The following process plan and schedule provides a schedule of key milestones associated with the LPSP re-licensing process. LPSP Re-Licensing Key Schedule Activities.


Written communication related to LPSP re-licensing can be mailed to:

Hydro Licensing Engineer
Consumers Energy Company
Cadillac Service Center
330 Chestnut Street
Cadillac, MI 49601
Or email to hydro@cmsenergy.com


Copies of certain key filings are available on this site, and all filings are available on FERC’s eLibrary. Copies of all public information including mailing lists, announcements, notices, communication, and other documents related to the relicensing of the LPSP will be available at:

Consumers Energy Company
Cadillac Service Center
330 Chestnut Street
Cadillac, MI 49601