Major new Genesee County Power Plant moves forward

Consumers Energy has taken the next step for its new natural gas plant in Genesee County. But the Michigan Public Service Commission has to approve the plant.

Consumers Energy filed paper work on Friday to advance the massive project. A spokesman says they expect a decision by the spring.

â??Our filing today establishes that this new natural gas plant is in the best long-term interests of Michigan and our 1.8 million electric customers,â?? said John Russell, Consumers Energyâ??s chief executive officer. â??This $750 million project will create 600 construction jobs, about 30 operating and support jobs, and ongoing economic benefits for the regional I-75 corridor and Genesee County.â??

According to a news release, the certificate of necessity filing provides Consumers Energy's comprehensive analysis for the 700 megawatt natural gas plant planned for Thetford Township, about 20 miles northeast of Flint. The review process for the filing is expected to take nine months.

Tim Sparks, Consumers Energy's vice president of energy supply operations, said the new facility will be one of the most economical and efficient power plants in operation, using advanced combined cycle technology.

A spoksman says it would begin to replace 7 older coal-fired power plants being decomissioned by the company.