Consumers Energy has canceled its plans to build a coal plant near Bay City. The $2 billion plant would have created 1,800 construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs.
Jeff Holyfield, a spokesman for Consumers Energy, says there two main reasons for the cancelation:
- Customer demand is down "about 5 or 6 percent. Holyfield says they "don’t expect that demand to reach pre-recession marks until sometime late in 2012."
- Natural gas prices are cheap, which Holyfield says makes a "new coal-fired power plant less economically attractive."
Holyfield says Consumers Energy invested about $25 million in the now scrapped coal plan.
The utility will also suspend operations at seven of its smaller coal-fired units across the state by 2015, and focus on two new wind farms it’s developing: one in west Michigan's Mason County, the other in Tuscola County in the thumb.
Consumers continues its $1.6 billion investment at its five largest coal-fired units to meet environmental regulations, which Holyfield says will create about 2,000 jobs in the state.