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Impact of Air Permit for Consumers Power?
After waiting more than two years, Consumers Power has received MDEQ approval of a Michigan air use permit for it proposed new coal fired facility in the Bay City area. Whether it turns out to be the last project standing is still to be seen. The LS Power coal project proposed for Midland suspended its efforts to get permitted earlier this year. The Wolverine Power coal project in Rogers City, once thought to be the leading contender to get the first permit, is waiting. And the oft-delayed coal project for Holland Board of Public Works still has not surfaced.
What impact this decision may have on alternative and renewable energy projects in Michigan is unclear. What is clear is that now Consumers Energy will not have all its political energies focused on the permitting problems it was having with the MDEQ. However, the “problem” venue will only be shifting, as there is little doubt that ultimately the decision to permit the project will be challenged in the courts. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see what steps Consumers Power takes to begin mothballing coal capacity, as it is required to do under the stipulation of obtaining the new air permit. Stay tuned.