Home Energy Feds give $1.5B to restart Palisades nuclear plant

Feds give $1.5B to restart Palisades nuclear plant

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(The Center Square) – The federal government will give a $1.5 billion loan to restart the Palisades nuclear plant.

The loan follows Michigan shuttering coal plants at a record pace while chasing a 100% renewable energy standard by 2040.

In 2022, renewables comprised 12% of Michigan’s electricity net generation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The current energy grid is designed for baseline energy provided by coal, nuclear, or natural gas, not intermittent energy produced when the sun shines and the wind blows.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer welcomed the funding.

“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,” Whitmer said in a statement. “We will lead and build the future here in Michigan with our 100% clean energy by 2040 standard, the strongest clean energy labor standards in the nation, and tools to build more renewable energy faster.”

The American Nuclear Society also applauded repowering the Covert Township nuclear power plant.

The 800-megawatt power plant shuttered in 2022 before Holtec International bought it for decommissioning. In October 2023, Holtec submitted an operating licensing application for Palisades with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission seeking a federal loan to restore the plant.

Senate Republican Leader Aric Nesbitt, R-Porter Township, called the news a “big win” for southwest Michigan.

“With the dark shadow of Gov. Whitmer’s California-style Green New Deal signaling higher costs and a less reliable energy grid for our state’s future, Michigan families need dependable power sources like Palisades to help alleviate energy prices and provide electricity when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow,” Nesbitt said in a statement. “I am happy to see the governor and her peers acknowledging the need to reopen this vital nuclear power plant as we all brace for the predictable shortfalls of the extreme energy agenda forced through the Legislature by the Democrat majority last year.”

ANS CEO Craig Piercy said restarting the plant will provide “zero-carbon baseload electricity.”

“Michiganders stand to benefit from cleaner air and a stronger, more resilient power grid from the planned restart of the Palisades nuclear power plant,” Piercy said in a statement.

Piercy said the plant closed because of unfavorable market conditions. The plant

“Restarting Palisades means the return of a reliable and dispatchable source of zero-carbon baseload electricity, capable of helping Michigan meet its clean energy needs year-round without interruption.”

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