Holtec Palisades to Receive $1.5B+ to Restore and Restart 800 MW Palisades Nuclear Plant in Michigan

April 2, 2024
The restoration work will commence upon final licensing approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and, according to Michigan Governor Gretch Whitmer, “once open, Palisades will be the first successfully restarted nuclear power plant in American history.”

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has offered a conditional commitment of up to $1.52 billion for a loan guarantee to Holtec Palisades, a global supplier of equipment and services for the Nuclear, Solar, and Geothermal power generation sectors of the energy industry.

Holtec Palisades will use the loan to restore and resume the services of an 800 MW electric nuclear-generating station – the Palisades Nuclear Plant – in Covert Township, Michigan, which ceased operations in May 2022. The loan will also allow the company to upgrade the nuclear plant to produce baseload clean power until at least 2051.

Because the plant’s infrastructure already exists, Holtec Palisades will not need to perform traditional construction activities – instead, the company will focus on inspecting, testing, refurbishing, rebuilding, and replacing existing components and equipment. Holtec Palisades is currently seeking reauthorization of the Palisades operating license with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) – the Federal agency in charge of regulating and licensing commercial nuclear power plants in the US.

The restoration work will commence upon final licensing approval from the NRC, and, according to Michigan Governor Gretch Whitmer, “once open, Palisades will be the first successfully restarted nuclear power plant in American history.”

Once operational, the Palisades Nuclear Plant will provide 24/7, zero-emissions electricity generation, which will support the region’s resource mix as coal plants in the area are phased out. Wolverine Power Cooperative and Hoosier Energy – a rural electric co-op operating in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana – have already signed a long-term power purchase agreement for the full power output of the nuclear plant.

Portion of the supplied power will go to benefit disadvantaged communities facing underinvestment and pollution – the Palisades Nuclear Plant is located in such a disadvantaged community, where residents face higher energy costs than 97% of communities in the US.

The project is expected to support up to 600 high-quality jobs in Michigan, with many positions being filled by those who have worked for the nuclear plant previously.

The project is also anticipated to avoid nearly 4.47 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually for a total of 111 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions during the plant’s 25-year life expectancy.

In addition to the main 800 MW reactor, Holtec Palisades will add two additional small modular reactor units, which will follow the restoration project and not be part of the $1.52 billion loan agreement. The two new units will potentially add another 800 MW of generation capacity to the site and help advance the domestic development of new reactor technologies.