Sierra Club: Wolverine project represents another dead coal plant

The Sierra Club said Dec. 17 that an announcement by Michigan’s Wolverine Power Cooperative that it is ending the development of a 600-MW coal-fired power plant is good news for those against coal.

The Wolverine Clean Energy Venture would have been made up of two 300-MW circulating fluidized-bend units located at Rogers City, Mich. It was the last in a wave of new coal-fired facilities proposed mid last decade in Michigan by parties like Consumers Energy, with the projects having since fallen by the wayside due to changing markets, new environmental regulations and an anti-coal campaign by then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Wolverine had posted no announcements on this to its website as of Dec. 17 and officials there couldn’t be immediately reached for comment. The Detroit News on Dec. 17 cited a brief statement from Wolverine saying the project was no longer in development.

“This is the right move for Michigan and for the cooperative members of Wolverine Power,” said Anne Woiwode, state director of the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter. “Wolverine’s decision reflects what’s really happening in Michigan today – that cleaner sources of reliable power are available at reasonable rates, and it’s growing quickly. At the same time, this decision protects the health and well-being of the people of Rogers City and the surrounding communities.”

This marks the 184th proposed new coal plant project to be canceled since 2010, said the Sierra Club.

Wolverine, headquartered in Cadillac in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula, provides wholesale service to meet the power requirements of its seven members, all serving customers at retail. Wolverine has lately been working on a buy of one-third of the Presque Isle coal plant in the state’s western Upper Peninsula from We Energies. Rogers City is in the northeast Lower Peninsula, quite a distance from the Presque Isle site.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.