Whitmer wants federal funds to keep Palisades nuclear plant open

Whitmer wants federal funds to keep Palisades nuclear plant open

April 20, 2022 0 By Scott McClallen

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Michigan will apply for federal funding to stop the closure of Palisades nuclear energy facility in Covert Township, scheduled to shut down on May 31, 2022.

“Keeping Palisades open is a top priority,” Whitmer wrote in a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Energy and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm, saying Michigan will apply for the program by the May 18 deadline for the $6 billion Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) program.

The Southwest Michigan plant employs 600 Michiganders, provides over 800 megawatts of clean energy. Whitmer said the plant provided $363 million in annual regional economic development, and that the union facility support 600 employees making an average of $117,845.

“Doing so will allow us to shore up Michigan’s energy supply to prevent price spikes on working families and small businesses, make Michigan more competitive for economic development projects bringing billions in investment, protect hundreds of good-paying jobs for Michiganders, and meet our climate goals,” Whitmer said. “My administration will support an application for funding from this new federal program to keep Palisades open, and I urge the companies involved to think creatively and optimistically about how to leverage this opportunity.”

After shutdown, the plant is set to be sold to Holtec Decommissioning International with a closing date of no later than June 30, 2022.

Entergy owns the power plant, whose power is purchased by Consumers Energy. Palisades provides over 800 megawatts of of carbon-free power.

“Getting this done will help us continue growing our economy, lowering energy costs for families, and boosting clean energy production in Michigan, which is critical to achieving energy independence,” Whitmer said.

The request follows guidance released on the first round of funding for the CNC program, part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“U.S. nuclear power plants contribute more than half of our carbon-free electricity, and President Biden is committed to keeping these plants active to reach our clean energy goals,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement. “We’re using every tool available to get this country powered by clean energy by 2035, and that includes prioritizing our existing nuclear fleet to allow for continued emissions-free electricity generation and economic stability for the communities leading this important work.”

Here are Michigan’s energy sources by consumption for 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The request follows higher energy prices that include gas prices rising to more than $4.00-per gallon briefly, paired with 40-year inflation. Both are squeezing Michiganders’ wallets.

As of March 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the Consumer Price Index increased 8.5% before seasonal adjustment over a year, while the energy index rose 32% over the last year, and the food index increased 8.8%.

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