September 29, 2016

Wolverine Traces Roots to Late 1940s

The interior of Wolverine’s power plant in Hersey. The units shown have been decommissioned and removed from the plant.

Four of Wolverine Power Cooperative’s members marked 75 years of service to their own co-op members in 2012: Great Lakes Energy, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Midwest Energy Cooperative, and Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op. Cherryland Electric Cooperative will celebrate its 75th service anniversary in 2013.

Wolverine’s history dates back to 1948, nearly 65 years ago, and the formation of Northern Michigan Electric Cooperative and Wolverine Electric Cooperative.

At the time, distribution electric cooperatives in the state decided to work together to secure their power supply and benefit from economies of scale. They chartered generation and transmission (G&T) electric cooperatives to carry out these tasks. Northern Michigan Electric was headquartered in Boyne City, and Wolverine Electric was located in Big Rapids.

The new G&T cooperatives operated power plants, purchased additional power supply as needed, and took on the challenge of building high-voltage transmission lines to connect the distribution systems they served.

In 1983, Northern Michigan Electric and Wolverine Electric merged to form Wolverine Power Cooperative as it is known today. The cooperative has grown to seven members served by a diverse power supply portfolio and a 1,600-mile transmission system. Today, Wolverine member co-ops together serve over 265,000 homes, businesses and farms in the Lower Peninsula. Yet, over six decades of service, Wolverine’s mission has remained steady—to provide outstanding service to its members by delivering reliable, competitively-priced power supply.

– Nancy Tanner