Gov. Whitmer Announces Plan with Holtec to Reopen Palisades Plant, Protect 600 Jobs, Shore up Clean, Reliable Energy Production in Michigan
Governor sends letter to Department of Energy voicing support for Holtec International’s application for federal funding to save plant in southwest Michigan
LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy in support of Holtec International’s application for a federal grant under the Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) program to save the Palisades Nuclear Facility in Southwest Michigan, protecting 600 high-paying jobs at the plant and 1,100 additional jobs throughout the community while also shoring up clean, reliable energy production in Michigan.
“Keeping Palisades open will keep energy costs low, shore up domestic energy production, and increase Michigan’s competitiveness for future economic development,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am proud to write in support today of Holtec International’s application for a Civil Nuclear Credit that—if granted—will empower us to keep fighting for economic opportunity for Southwest Michigan and protect 1,700 local jobs. The Palisades Nuclear Facility meets the criteria for this program and keeping it open will help us produce enough clean, reliable energy in Michigan to power hundreds of thousands of homes and small businesses. While we await a final decision from the Department of Energy, we will continue efforts at the state level to create and protect good-paying jobs, compete for more economic development opportunities, and boost domestic energy production.”
“We applaud Governor Whitmer for her leadership in recognizing the vital importance of Palisades to Michigan’s clean energy future as a source of safe and reliable carbon-free electricity,” said Dr. Kris Singh, President and CEO of Holtec International. “The Governor and her team have been instrumental in supporting this historic opportunity for Southwest Michigan and the country. We look forward to continuing to work with the administration as well as our federal, state, and community partners to make this hope a reality.”
The full letter can be found here.
Palisades Nuclear Facility
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 additional local jobs, generated $363 million in regional economic development every year, and produced more than 800 megawatts of reliable, clean power—enough to power hundreds of thousands of homes and small businesses.
On May 20, the plant’s former owner, Entergy, made the decision to close the plant 11 days ahead of the planned May 31 shutdown “due to the performance of a control rod drive seal.” The Palisades plant was shut down on May 20, when its current fuel supply ran out and the power purchase agreement with Consumers Energy expired. The plant was sold to Holtec Decommissioning International in June 2022.
A Plan to Save Palisades
The CNC program was established to avoid premature retirements of reactors across the country due to financial hardship, preserve thousands of good-paying clean energy jobs to sustain local economies, and protect our supply of carbon-free electricity generation. Palisades is a textbook example.
Holtec International applied for a Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) on July 5 to help them keep Palisades open. Getting this done is critical for Michigan’s competitiveness and future economic development. If Holtec is approved for a CNC, the State of Michigan is ready to support them by identifying state funding and facilitating a power purchase agreement.