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Whitmer Calls for Federal Investment to Protect Jobs and Shore up Energy Needs
April 20, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2022
Gov. Whitmer Calls for Federal Investment to Protect 600 Jobs, Lower Energy Costs, Shore up Michigan’s Energy Needs
New Civil Nuclear Credit program could help Palisades facility in Covert Township stay open
LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy after they published guidance on the first round of funding for the Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) program. The governor urged the deployment of federal resources from the CNC to keep Palisades, a nuclear energy facility in Covert Township, open. The Southwest Michigan plant employs 600 Michiganders in good-paying jobs, is critical to the regional economy, and provides over 800 megawatts of clean energy—enough to power around 800,000 Michigan homes.
“Keeping Palisades open is a top priority,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “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. 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. Together, we can protect 600 high-paying careers, support over 1,100 jobs in the area, and shore up $363 million in annual, regional economic development. 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.”
The full letter is available here:
Palisades is a nuclear energy facility in Covert Township with a license to operate until 2031. It’s currently owned by Entergy and the power is purchased by Consumers Energy. Palisades provides over 800 megawatts of clean energy to Michigan—enough to power 800,000 Michigan homes. This is a union facility supporting 600 employees making an average of $117,845. Palisades is currently in the process of being decommissioned with a shutdown date of May 31, 2022, when its current fuel supply runs out. After shutdown, the plant is set to be sold to Holtec Decommissioning International with a closing date of no later than June 30, 2022.
Civil Nuclear Credit Program
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) included $6 billion for the CNC to prevent the premature retirement of existing nuclear plants. The program is available for plants that would otherwise retire and are certified as safe to continue operations. The State of Michigan has had numerous conversations with the U.S. Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Entergy, Holtec, potential owners, operators, and power purchasers, and the plant’s employees on how to utilize the CNC to prevent Palisades from early closure, protect 600 jobs, and shore up Michigan’s clean energy supply.