A deal was announced Tuesday that will restart a nuclear plant in Southern Michigan, which is the first time in U.S. history that such a plant will be reopened.
Holtec International and Wolverine Power Cooperative, a not-for-profit power generation cooperative based in Michigan, announced that they have entered into a long-term agreement that will restart the 800-megawatt Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in Covert Township. Covert Township is just south of South Haven.
Holtec Decommissioning International bought the Palisades Nuclear Generating Station for the stated purpose of dismantling it, weeks after previous owner Entergy shut it down. Fuel was removed from the reactor core. Federal regulators were notified of “permanent cessation of power operations.” But with support from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and leaders in the Lake Michigan community where Palisades was an economic driver for 50 years, Holtec soon kicked off a campaign to bring the plant back. The 800 megawatt facility had generated roughly 5% of the state’s electricity.
Wolverine said it is committed to purchasing up to two-thirds of the carbon-free power generated by the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant for its Michigan-based member rural electric cooperatives. Wolverine’s nonprofit rural electric cooperative project partner, Hoosier Energy, will purchase the balance.
“We are thrilled to enter into this partnership,” said Kelly Trice, president of Holtec Nuclear Generation and Decommissioning. “The executed power purchase agreement represents a significant milestone in our journey towards reopening the plant, a historic moment for Michigan and the country.”
Wolverine’s member rural electric cooperatives provide electricity to rural homes, businesses, and public schools across more than half of the Lower Peninsula, the company said.
“Ensuring reliable and affordable electricity in Michigan is crucial,” said Eric Baker, CEO of Wolverine. “The restart of Palisades offers a practical, long-term solution to electric reliability in our state and aligns with Michigan’s ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions.”