PSC says new coal plants not needed in Michigan

LANSING, MI – The state Public Service Commission has released a report that says Michigan does not need new coal-burning power plants to meet its energy needs. The report is a setback for Consumers Energy, which is seeking permission to build a large capacity power plant near Bay City that has fewer emissions than a traditional coal plant.

Governor Granholm called a halt to the process earlier this year and ordered the utility regulating agency to conduct a review of the state's electricity requirements. The report says reduced demand and the growing use of renewable fuels means Michigan won't need a big, new generating facility before 2022.

The state Department of Environmental Quality will have to use the report as part of its decision on whether to issue an air emissions permit for the $2 billion facility. A Consumers spokesman says the company is disappointed in the findings, and that new power plants are needed to meet an expected increase in demand for electricity following an economic recovery.