Skip to main content

Gov. Whitmer Applauds Biden-Harris Administration Support to Help Re-Open Palisades, Protecting 600 Union Jobs and Clean Power for 800,000 Michiganders


March 27, 2024




Gov. Whitmer Applauds Biden-Harris Administration Support to Help Re-Open Palisades, Protecting 600 Union Jobs and Clean Power for 800,000 Michiganders

Investment would make Palisades first successfully restarted nuclear power plant in US history



COVERT TOWNSHIP, Mich.– Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, state Representative Joey Andrews (D-Saint Joseph), and Holtec International to announce the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) decision to issue a conditional commitment for an up to $1.52 billion loan to restart the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant. The loan will protect 600 good-paying local union jobs and clean power for 800,000 homes.  


“Palisades is coming back,” said Governor Whitmer. “Thanks to an effective collaboration between the Biden-Harris Administration, the State of Michigan, the Michigan Legislature, and Holtec, work will begin shortly to restart operations at Palisades. Once complete, Palisades will become the first successfully restarted nuclear power plant in American history, protecting 600 union jobs at the plant, 1,100 in the community, and access to clean, reliable power for 800,000 homes. We will lead and build the future here in Michiganwith our 100% clean energy by 2040 standard, the strongest clean energy labor standards in the nation, and tools to build more renewable energy faster. Let’s keep getting it done.”


Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration, Michigan’s congressional delegation, a $150 million investment from the State of Michigan, and Holtec’s implementation efforts, Palisades can become the first successfully restarted nuclear power plant in American history.


“Nuclear power is our single largest source of carbon free electricity, directly supporting 100,000 jobs across the country and hundreds of thousands more indirectly,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is supporting and expanding this vibrant clean energy workforce here in Michigan with significant funding for the Holtec Palisades nuclear power plant."


“Today’s announcement is a massive step towards restoring 800 megawatts of carbon-free energy generation and hundreds of highly skilled jobs right here in Michigan’s Fourth Congressional District,” said Congressman Bill Huizenga.“Holtec’s historic repowering of the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant will provide safe, reliable energy to meet Southwest Michigan’s growing needs, and it lays the groundwork for the first-of-their-kind small modular reactors to be placed at Palisades in the future. For these reasons, I’m proud to have led the bipartisan congressional effort on behalf of this project to lower energy costs, create jobs, and strengthen American energy security.


“This is a monumental moment for Southwest Michigan. Not only will Palisades become the first nuclear power plant to be restarted in American history, but we’re also preserving hundreds of family-sustaining jobs and getting closer to achieving our clean energy goals,” said state Representative Joey Andrews (D-St. Joseph), whose district includes Palisades. “I recently joined with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to introduce legislation to further spur development of nuclear energy in Michigan, which will draw even more investments and jobs to our region and state. This is truly a cause for celebration.”


“This is a triumph for the United States in our collective pursuit of a clean and dependable energy future. We applaud the visionary leadership of the Biden-Harris administration, Secretary Granholm, Director Shah, and the Department staff for seizing this historic opportunity and once again demonstrating America’s role as a global energy leader,” says Dr. Kris Singh, Holtec President and CEO, adding, “The repowering of Palisades will restore safe, around-the-clock generation to hundreds of thousands of households, businesses, and manufacturers. It also confers the environmental and public health benefits of emissions-free generation, hundreds of high-paying local jobs with a large union workforce, economic growth, and the social benefits of a strong community partner. We are also appreciative of the strong, unwavering support of Governor Whitmer, bipartisan support from the Michigan legislature and congressional delegation, and certainly from the local community, all of whom have championed this effort from the very beginning. As one of the country’s leading energy innovators, we are grateful and ready to help make history.”




Palisades 2


palisades 3


Pailsades 4


Saving Palisades

Palisades is a union plant in Southwest Michigan that employed 600 workers making an average of $117,845 while the plant was in operation, supported over 1,100 local jobs, generated $363 million in regional economic development every year, and produced more than 800 megawatts of reliable, clean power—enough to power 800,000 homes. 


The Palisades plant was shut down on May 20,2022. The plant was sold to Holtec in June 2022. Today the DOE is announcing that it is issuing a conditional commitment for an up to $1.52 billion loan through the Loan Programs Office to Holtec to restart Palisades.


Biden-Harris Administration’s Clean Energy Investments in Michigan

The DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) helps fund big clean energy projects in America. The LPO’s loans are helping companies build more wind and solar, bringing supply chains of electric vehicles home, and reviving nuclear power plants.


In addition to today’s loan for Palisades, another Michigan company recently received another LPO loan. SK Siltron CSS secured conditional commitment for $544 million loan to expand production at its Bay City facility where they produce high-quality silicon carbide wafers critical for electric vehicles. The expansion will create hundreds of jobs and make the Bay City, Michigan plant one of the top-five manufacturers of silicon carbide in the world. 


President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) made the single largest investment in clean energy in American history. A year after passage, the IRA has already led to 24 projects in Michigan that led to billions of dollars of investment and over 15,000 jobs. 


President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) is helping Michigan fix the damn roads, bridges, pipes, internet, and so much more. The BIL’s clean energy investments are modernizing our power grid, investing in energy efficiency improvements, and helping deploy more clean energy—including nuclear energy. 


Michigan’s Clean Energy Leadership

In November 2023, Governor Whitmer signed a game-changing package of clean energy legislation to lower household utility costs, create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, and protect Michigan’s air, water, and public health. The package:

  • Establishes a 100% Clean Energy Standard: By 2040, Michigan will produce all its energy from clean sources including nuclear. By 2030, Michigan will produce 50% of its energy from renewable sources and 60% from renewables by 2035. The new clean energy standard will protect Michigan’s air, land, and water for future generations. It will drive down costs for consumers while reducing the state’s reliance on foreign fuel and create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs along the way.
  • Improves Energy Efficiency: Bolsters energy efficiency and waste reduction programs to drive down costs for families and small businesses. Helps Michiganders upgrade their homes to save money while ensuring access to reliable power.
  • Fights for Workers: Establishes the Office of Worker and Community Economic Transition. The new office will work with workers and communities to make sure they can take full advantage of the good-paying, middle-class jobs we are creating and bringing home to Michigan.
  • Streamlines Clean Energy Projects: Bolsters the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) by authorizing them to streamline permitting of utility-scale clean energy the same way they can currently do so for other sources of energy. This will drive billions of dollars of federal and private investment in Michigan, creating good-paying local jobs and helping the state meet its clean energy goals.
  • Prioritizes Local CommunitiesAuthorizes the MPSC to consider climate and equity in their regulatory decisions so we can prioritize the health and well-being of our communities as we expand energy production. Also protects farmers’ rights to host solar projects on their own land. In Michigan, you have the freedom to use your land how you see fit, including leasing part of to a clean energy developer so you can earn more money.


Michigan’s Clean Energy Opportunity

Earlier in 2023, 5 Lakes Energy released a report on the clean energy package. The report found that in addition to saving Michigan households an average of $145 a year in energy costs, policies like the ones in the package and would help secure $7.8 billion more in federal investment from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and create nearly 160,000 jobs.


The 2023 Clean Jobs America Report stated that clean energy businesses in Michigan added more than 5,400 workers in 2022 and now employ 123,983 Michiganders. Michigan now leads the Midwest in number of clean energy workers.


Michiganders support clean energy. The 100% clean energy standard is popular. In a poll Evergreen released in April 2023 with Data for Progress, 65% of voters supported legislation to transition the state’s energy grid to 100% clean energy and 73% want the Legislature to do more to keep energy bills affordable.