DeVos Place Almost Plugged In

October 25, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS — Consumers Energy will likely supply the new DeVos Place with electric power for the next five years. And as part of the company's agreement with the Convention and Arena Authority, the utility also will likely donate about $1 million worth of equipment to the convention center.

It's almost a done deal.

Board members approved the agreement last week — as best they could.

A quorum wasn't available for last week's meeting, so board chairman John Logie, Lew Chamberlin and Birgit Klohs, the three members who were present, approved the contact with Consumers with a stipulation that ratification from the full board would be coming at the next meeting.

The CAA operations and building committees already have approved the contract.

A spokesman for Consumers, however, couldn't confirm the contract's contents and the donation of the equipment because an agreement hasn't been signed. The utility has a policy of not commenting on a deal until it is sealed.

If the board officially approves the contract on Dec. 4, Consumers would likely supply the building with 12,400 volts and the service would tentatively begin on April 1 with a limit of 70 amps. Full-load capacity would be ready by June 1.

Dale Sommers, the board's representative in the construction of the $220 million facility, said the CAA could have purchased electricity from another utility, but then would have had to buy its own transmission equipment.

Sommers added that Consumers has offered the board its most economical rate, known as General Service Primary Rate D. Rate D is for customers with a billing demand of less than 25 kilowatts.           

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