After more than 75 years of operation, the Consumers Energy Weadock plant in Bay County’s Hampton Township is at the end of its life.
On Saturday, August 29, Beirlein Companies will apply explosive charges to the remainder of the plant for its final demolition. The move comes as part of Consumers Energy’s plan to transition completely to renewable energy sources by 2040 and retires its coal fired power plants around the state.
Beginning operations in 1940, the Weadock plant was officially retired in 2016. Two other coal-fired operations at the site, the Karn plants, will remain in operation until 2023, while two gas and oil plants will remain until around 2030.
Hampton Township is working on solutions to shore up a tax revenue shortage after the plants are completely shut down. The township expects a loss of tax revenue by about 17 percent, plus the loss of hundreds of jobs.
Consumers Energy Vice President of Enterprise Project Management and Environmental Services Dennis Dobbs says the company is working with Hampton Township on potential solutions, looking at ways to develop the site to the benefit of the township. Hampton Township also qualifies as a Coal Impacted Community, receiving $100,000 to draw up a Draft Strategy for Economic Success to help the township better diversify its economy.
The demolition will be live streamed on Consumers’ Facebook page for anyone who would like to see the event at 8:00 a.m. The Saginaw River near the plant will be closed to all boating traffic from 7:15 – 8:30 a.m.