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This entry is to document the planned nuclear power plant in Midland initiated by Consumers Power back in the 1960's thru the 1980's.
The 267 million dollar plant was announced as early as 1967, with a plan of having it online by 1975. Many years would pass before there was any real progress. There was an anti-trust action filed against Consumers Power in 1978 or so that held things up. That resulted in a settlement in which competitor energy firms could buy in to the planned nuclear plant. Sadly, this would end up being a poor investment as this plant almost brought Consumers to bankruptcy as you will read.
The next chapter is a filing with the Public Service Commission to get a rate increase to help finance the plant in 1983, so clearly the project timeline was already well behind, probably due to economic factors and the regulatory hurdles related to building a nuclear plant. By July 1984, the plant construction was well underway but was halted, this effectively ended the plan to build a nuclear plant. This was due to funding issues and opposition from the general public. Since the Three Mile Island incident in March of 1979, nuclear plants had fallen out of favor with many in the public. Increased safety regulations resulting from that accident also increased costs.
By 1985, another rate increase was granted to cover the $3.1 billion needed to recover costs of the failed project. This was rejected so the request was reduced to $2.1 billion. By 1987, the Cogeneration Venture was established in order to build a conventional gas power plant on the site. By 1990 this plant was online and producing. It's quite something how much cheaper and faster a gas plant can be built.
Consumers ends the financial stabilization rate increase after collecting $434 million of the project's cost. A judge later proposes Consumers should recover $1.3 billion which results in CMS (Consumers parent company) taking a $486 million dollar write-off. The Midland Cogeneration Venture gas plant lived happily ever after and is producing power still as of 2022.