Holtec’s Palisades Energy and Wolverine Power Cooperative, a not-for-profit energy provider, have signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for the 800MW Palisades power plant in Covert Township, Michigan.

Under the terms of the PPA, Wolverine is committed to purchasing up to two-thirds of the carbon-free power generated by Palisades for its rural electric co-operatives in Michigan.

In addition, the voluntary organisation through, its rural electric cooperative project partner Hoosier Energy, will purchase the remaining electricity.

The signing of the PPA ensures the guaranteed operation of the power facility, said Holtec.

Holtec International CEO Kris Singh said: “We thank Governor Whitmer, the Michigan legislature, the U.S. Department of Energy led by Secretary Granholm, and the people of Michigan whose enthusiasm to render Palisades into a bastion of new clean energy generation has encouraged us to launch the odyssey of restoring Palisades energy generation.

“We are well aware that, although we see no real obstacles ahead, re-powering of a dormant plant such as Palisades would be a feat that has never been achieved before.

“Hopefully, the Palisades revival would encourage our allies, Germany and Japan, who have many dormant nuclear plants, to adopt a similar course.”

Wolverine’s member rural electric cooperatives provide electricity to rural homes, businesses, and public schools across more than half of Michigan’s lower peninsula.

The current PPA is expected to further support Wolverine and its member rural electric co-operatives to bring reliable carbon-free energy to the region.

It also includes a contract expansion provision to include up to two 300MWe small modular reactors (SMRs), that Holtec intends to build and commission at the Palisades site.

The addition of two SMRs at the facility would help eliminate around seven million tons of carbon dioxide each year, totalling 200 million tons of CO2 over Palisades’ estimated service life.

Holtec acquired the Palisades power plant in June last year, when the nuclear-powered facility was shut down due to adverse financial viability, after safely operating for more than 50 years.

Earlier this year, the company filed an application with the US Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office seeking a federal loan for repowering the power plant.

Holtec nuclear generation and decommissioning president Kelly Trice said: “The executed power purchase agreement represents a significant milestone in our journey towards reopening the plant, a historic moment for Michigan and the country.

“The repowering of Palisades ensures Michigan has sufficient energy to meet future demand and mitigate the impact of climate change, while creating hundreds of high-paying Michigan jobs, expanding the local tax base, and unleashing economic opportunity within the region and beyond.”

Wolverine CEO Eric Baker said: “Ensuring reliable and affordable electricity in Michigan is crucial. The restart of Palisades offers a practical, long-term solution to electric reliability in our state and aligns with Michigan’s ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions.”