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State schedules public hearings on potential Palisades closure

Mark Savage
Palisades can generate nearly 800 MW of electricity.

The Michigan Public Service Commission is trying to decide if closing the Palisades nuclear power plant in southwest Michigan will save customers money. MPSC must sign off on Consumers Energy Company’s plan to end its agreement with Entergy, the company that owns Palisades, early.  

The Michigan Public Service Commission will hold back-to-back meetings for the public on May 8th inLawrence, Michigan.

Norm Saari, who serves on the MPSC, says they’ll outline the issues the commission is considering.

“Not just specifically with closure of the Palisades plant but an overall assessment of how closing the Palisades plant and losing the electricity from the Palisades plant has to be replaced somewhere,” Saari said.

Consumers’ plans rely heavily on natural gas, conservation and renewable sources to make up for the power if Palisades closes.

Saari says the commission also wants to hear the potential impact on the state’s energy plan, the local economy and residents more generally.

“I know that we have anecdotally heard a lot of comment either directly or through the media about what the impact is going to be on local residents of the closure of the plant and this gives them the opportunity to express their points of view to the commissioners,” he said.

If the deal is approved, Palisades could close in 2018.

In full disclosure, Consumers Energy is a financial supporter of Michigan Radio.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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