Retiring Coal Plants, Recovering from Storms

For Friday, June 15, 2018

1 – Consumers Energy plans to retire coal plants near Bay City.

Utility officials say they’ll file a plan with state regulators this week that includes retiring two old coal-fired units at the Karn Generating Complex near Bay City in 2023.

Karn units 1 and 2, located in Hampton Township, came online in 1959 and 1961. They are capable of generating 515 megawatts of electricity.

Consumers says the retirement of Karn 1 and 2 continues a move away from coal as a generation fuel source. A Weadock generating plant next door was shut down in 2016.

Other parts of the plan include increasing renewable energy from a current 11 percent to 37 percent by 2030 and 43 percent by 2040. The company has a goal to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent and eliminate the use of coal to generate electricity by 2040.

The utility says an analysis shows higher levels of energy efficiency, demand management programs and renewable energy are the best and most affordable way to meet customers’ needs in the future.

Environmental groups including the Sierra Club praised the news.

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2 – Dealing with extreme storms and flooding in the Saginaw Bay watershed is the focus of a series of free webinars happening over the next month.

Michigan State University Extension is organizing the effort along with Michigan Sea Grant.

The webinars are intended to help decision-makers and planners in addressing and developing resiliency in the region — the ability to adapt to the changing frequency and intensity of storms and recover quickly from the impacts of extreme storm events.

The webinars will include information about how communities can reduce flood insurance premiums for local property owners by completing flooding protection activities.

You can register for the free webinars online.

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9:30 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR. Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

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