LUDINGTON, Mich., July 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ludington Pumped Storage Plant is turning 40, and officials from Lansing and Washington are bringing gifts to the party. The award-winning facility is being recognized for providing reliable and low-cost power, saving Michigan's electric customers millions of dollars compared to other sources. Gov. Rick Snyder, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Sen. Goeff Hansen and Rep. Ray Franz signed a special tribute in Lansing to commemorate the plant's 40 th anniversary. Rep. Franz personally delivered the tribute to the plant today where utility employees and their families celebrated with a tour of the facilities. In addition, U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga made a floor statement that was printed in the Congressional Record last week in Washington, D.C., congratulating employees on the accomplishment at the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant. Rep. Huizenga also videotaped a message of congratulations that played during today's celebration, and one of Huizenga's staff members presented a copy of the Congressional Record to the Ludington Pumped Storage plant manager. "We are deeply honored to receive this recognition for Ludington Pumped Storage from legislators in Lansing and Washington," said William Schoenlein, manager of hydro and renewable generation and plant manager of Ludington Pumped Storage. "Our employees are certainly proud of what we've accomplished, and continued investments we are making in the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant to serve Michigan residents with safe, affordable energy should ensure we will be celebrating more milestone achievements in the decades to come." In its 40 th year of operating, Ludington Pumped Storage began the process of an $800 million upgrade, which includes the replacement of its six turbines with more efficient models. The six-year project will increase the plant's generating capacity by 15 percent and its efficiency by 5 percent. Once the overhaul is complete, the plant will be able to produce enough electricity to power a community of 1.65 million, up from 1.4 million currently. The Ludington Pumped Storage Plant is co-owned by Consumers Energy and DTE Electric, and operated by Consumers Energy. The Ludington Pumped Storage Plant pumps water during the night uphill 363 feet to its 27 billion-gallon reservoir. During day-time periods of peak customer electric demand, the water is released through turbines to generate electricity.