Estimated economic impact of restarting Palisades

NOW: Estimated economic impact of restarting Palisades

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich.-- Work to repower the Palisades Power Plant is underway after Wednesday's announcement for a federal loan.

“The Department of Energy is proud to announce a conditional loan commitment for $1.5 billion to Holtec to get the Palisades nuclear plant back up and running,” said Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Energy.

When the Palisades nuclear power plant shut down in 2022, Southwest Michigan stood to lose nearly $40 million in wages. 

“We were planning on it closing. We’ve been planning on it closing for seven years, and now, it’s reopening.” said Zach Morris, Executive Director of Market Van Buren.  “So, $259 million was the economic impact of losing Palisades. So, the other side of it is—if we’re going to lose $259 million, we’re getting back $259 million of economic impact in our local economy, regionally.”

In an unprecedented effort, the state and federal governments are moving forward with plans to repower the plant.

“Restarting Palisades protects 600 good-paying, high-skilled jobs at the plant, and 1,100 more in the community, driving $363 million of regional economic impact. Once operational, Palisades will provide reliable power to more than 800,000 homes,” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said.

“We’ve got ourselves in a great position to be able to absorb those losses. Now, we’re in a position where we can take this additional tax revenue, the jobs, the economic impact from it, and be able to use it to really advance our community in the future and for future generations,” Morris said.

The project has bipartisan support, with Republican Congressman Bill Huizenga releasing a statement that reads in part, “I’m proud to have led the bipartisan congressional effort on behalf of this project to lower energy costs, create jobs, and strengthen American energy security.”

The nearly 600 jobs coming to Southwest Michigan are six-figure positions.

“When we look at that tax revenue, our schools, our police, our emergency services, our libraries, the roads, we were all counting on not having that revenue," Morris said. "To have it back again means we can actually start planning on getting ahead.”

Not to mention the 1,000 jobs in the trades coming to the region during the restart process. 

“That means that our restaurants, our hotels, other places, have that additional revenue coming into them, that we all planned not to have," added Morris.

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