Michigan Agency for Energy urges local officials to use time before Palisades' 2022 closing to prepare

Contact: Nick Assendelft (Michigan Agency for Energy), 517-284-8300

September 28, 2017 – The Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE), today reiterated its call for local leaders in Southwest Michigan to cooperatively plan for the Spring 2022 closing of the Palisades nuclear power plant after Entergy Corp. and Consumers Energy Co. said they will not end early a power purchase agreement.

“Today’s announcement that the Palisades nuclear plant will not be closing until Spring 2022 is good news for workers at the plant and their families,” said Valerie Brader, Executive Director of MAE. “But that does not mean that local officials can put off making difficult decisions about how to prepare for life without the nuclear plant and the tax dollars it pumps into the local economy.”

Brader called on community leaders in Covert Township, Van Buren County and particularly the Covert Public Schools to intensify their planning efforts ahead of the plant ceasing operations.

“The delay in the plant’s closure gives everyone a window for serious discussions to forge new partnerships and lay a solid economic foundation in anticipation of the loss of one of the area’s largest employers and taxpayers,” Brader said. “Making critical decisions today about budgets, resources, and local services will better position township, school and county officials to weather the impact the plant’s closure will have throughout the area.”

New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. announced today that it will not close the plant until spring 2022 after Consumers Energy Co. said it will not buy out the remainder of its power purchase agreement with Entergy, which owns the nuclear power generation plant. Consumers had wanted to end its contract next year, four years earlier than planned.

Brader said MAE, the Department of Treasury, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and the Talent Investment Agency are eager to partner with local leaders, legislators, and the philanthropic community to develop immediate and long-term strategies to mitigate the effects the community faces.

The Michigan Public Service Commission last week approved a lower securitization funding level than the total Consumers had proposed to buy out its power purchase contract, $142 million vs. $184 million. Entergy had said that if Consumers were to end its contract with the New Orleans-based utility, Palisades would have closed as early as October 2018.

For more information about MAE, please visit www.michigan.gov/energy or sign up for its listservs to keep up on MAE matters.