ST. JOSEPH, Mich. June 26, 2023 — Today, state Rep. Joey Andrews (D-St. Joseph) hosted the Repowering Roundtable and tour of the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant to meet with community and industry leaders to discuss efforts to reopen the facility, save good-paying jobs, and increase regional economic development and Michigan-made clean energy. He toured portions of the site, spoke with community leaders and met with Holtec, the company that owns the facility.
Andrews currently serves on the newly formed, bipartisan and bicameral Nuclear Caucus and has expressed steadfast support for the state and federal resources and federal approvals to restart Palisades. Repowering the plant would protect 600 high-paying jobs and over 1,100 additional jobs throughout the region — while continuing to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in annual regional economic development, and shoring up clean, reliable energy for Michigan households and businesses. The representative also highlighted actions made by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to repower and restart the Southwest Michigan plant.
In September, the governor sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy in support of Holtec Decommissioning International’s application for a federal grant under the Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) program to save Palisades. As the plant did not qualify under the original parameters for the first round of CNC program funding, Holtec filed a federal loan application earlier this year through the department’s Loan Programs Office, with strong encouragement and support from state and community partners.
“I have heard from many people over the past year about the interest to restart Palisades, and I am committed to working with them and other local, state and federal partners to secure the resources needed to not only keep hardworking people on the job but bring more good-paying jobs back to our community,” Andrews said. “In addition to jobs, investing in Palisades will deliver low-cost, clean energy to Michigan families and businesses. It’s a win-win.
“The Palisades Nuclear Power Plant has provided clean and dependable electricity to countless homes, businesses and industries over its five decades of operation and should remain an active component of our region’s energy infrastructure moving forward,” said Arthur Havlicek, President and CEO of the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber of Commerce. “As we face the challenges posed by an evolving energy landscape, it is imperative that we maintain a diversity of energy sources to ensure a stable and secure supply for the residents and businesses that call our state home. A safe restart of Palisades would not only help secure our energy future, it would lay the foundation for sustained economic growth and prosperity for our region. On behalf of our members, we embrace the importance of clean nuclear energy and encourage all stakeholders to rally behind the effort to bring Palisades back online.”
“Reopening Palisades would be a major economic boom to our communities and the entire state of Michigan, providing Michiganders with emissions-free baseload generation, high-paying jobs, and economic opportunity,” said Kelly Trice, President of Holtec Decommissioning International. “We’re glad to have a strong partnership with Rep. Andrews and other leaders as we work to keep Palisades a cornerstone of our community.”
Rep. Andrews is serving his first term representing the 38th House District, which covers parts of Allegan, Berrien and Van Buren counties. Born and raised in Southwestern Michigan, Rep. Andrews knows and respects the unique issues facing lakeshore communities. His committee assignments are Energy, Communications, and Technology (majority vice chair); Criminal Justice (majority vice chair); Labor; and the Economic Development and Small Business Subcommittee on Housing.
Palisades Nuclear Power Plant
Palisades is a union plant in Covert Township that employed 600 workers with an average salary of $117,000 while the plant was in operation in addition to supporting more than 1,000 supplemental workers during the plant’s regularly scheduled refueling and maintenance outages. It also supported over 1,100 additional local jobs, generated $363 million in regional economic development annually, and produced more than 800 megawatts of reliable, clean power—enough to power more than 800,000 homes and small businesses.
The Palisades plant was shut down on May 20, 2022, when its current fuel supply ran out and the 15-year power purchase agreement between the plant’s prior owner Entergy and Consumers Energy expired. The plant was sold to Holtec Decommissioning International in June 2022.