Last week Consumers Energy announced they would terminate a power purchase agreement with Entergy early. Entergy announced they would shut down the Palisades nuclear plant in 2018, the source of the electricity for this Consumers contract. There was an interesting article in the Midwest Energy News (see here) contrasting this nuke closure to Illinois efforts to keep their nuclear units open.
The Palisades plant is by far the smallest of three nuclear plants in Michigan. Entergy’s Palisades plant has just over 800MW of capacity, while DTE’s Fermi plant can generate 1,160MW of power. AEP’s Donald Cook plant is the biggest nuclear plant in the state at almost 2,200MW of capacity. Palisades and Donald Cook are located on the shores of Lake Michigan, while Fermi is located on Lake Erie.
Here is a chart showing historic nuclear generation in Michigan since 2001.
Here is the chart redone showing each power plants’ share of Michigan generation since 2001.
The next two charts provide the same information as the last two but for Illinois.
The Palisades plant is definitely smaller than the two Illinois plants that were saved by the recent legislation. (Clinton and Quad Cities) But Palisades has a larger percentage of Michigan’s generation than Clinton does of Illinois’ generation.