Final coal shipment arrives at Muskegon power plant

Posted at 10:45 PM, Nov 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-08 22:45:12-05

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Consumers Energy plans to shut down the B.C. Cobb Plant in Muskegon, and Sunday the plant received its last shipment of coal, ending almost 70 years of service. The plant is scheduled to end its run in April of 2016.

The Cobb plant is one of an estimated 25 plants closing by the year 2020 due to EPA regulations, "and we'll go what's called 'cold and dark,' where we basically shut down everything and ultimately decommission the plant," said Consumers Energy Vice President of Energy Supply, Timothy J. Sparks. "Because of the age of this plant, it wasn't economical to put in the new controls to keep the plant running. It's very bittersweet, because we’re usually getting around 15 ships per year coming into the facility here, and this is the last one."

The 1,000-foot coal carrier M/V James R. Barker delivered the final coal shipment with shipload of low-sulfur Western U.S. coal.

"Coming from Superior, Wisconsin: about a three-and-a-half day trip for me to get here, and I'm bringing about 59,480 tons," said ship Captain Brad Newland, who has made the journey from Wisconsin' Lake Superior shore to Muskegon for almost 25 years.

Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, provides natural gas and electricity to nearly seven million of the state's 10 million residents.

A public open house at the facility is set for this January.