(01/30/14) - It was supposed to bring 600 construction jobs to Mid-Michigan, but
plans to build a $750 million power plant in Genesee County has been put on
Consumers Energy wanted to build the plant between Center and North Genesee Roads, North of Dodge Road, in Thetford Township.
Those plans have now been put on hold after the utility decided to buy a $155 million existing natural gas plant in Jackson County. Consumers says purchasing an existing natural plant in Jackson is going to save millions of dollars.
Construction for the Thetford project would have started at the end of this year.
"The Thetford project has been deferred, not canceled. We'll make additional decisions in the future based on market condition and demand for electricity. Purchasing an existing natural gas plant in Jackson County is going to save over $545 million for the rate payers of Consumers Energy. Those dollars are going to be used to enhance the distribution system to improve reliability and make our rates more affordable for competition with other states in the region," said Kevin Keane, of Consumers Energy.
People who have lived in Thetford Township all of their lives say they're disappointed to hear the news. They were really looking forward to new jobs.
Pam Mcilmurray, who has lived there for 34 years, had high hopes about bringing more work in a town that she says needs it the most.
"My first thought was I was disappointed, I thought it would bring a lot more jobs to our township and it would just make everybody more excited about living here," she said.
Many people still can't believe that what they thought was coming to their town may not come so fast after all.
"It would have meant a lot to the Township and it would have brought a lot of jobs which everybody needs, so I'm disappointed for that fact," said Sandra Brady, who lives in Thetford Township.
Consumers says after 2016, the direction of Michigan's energy policy will help them base their decision on how to move forward.
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