Natural Gas to Replace Coal Plant in Michigan

The Presque Isle coal plant located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will soon be replaced by two natural gas plants, developed by WEC Energy Group Inc. The $255 million project will be completed by 2020, allowing the state to begin its transition to a more environmentally friendly and affordable natural energy resource.

New Gas Combustion Power to Be Completed by 2019

The new WEC project will be completed in two stages, with new gas combustion power sites being completed by 2019, and the old coal power plant being shut down by 2020. The ambitious project will be paid for by Michigan energy customers, but the actual retirement and decommissioning of the old coal plant will be paid for by We Energies. Prior to this project, natural gas power plants had been declined within the area, as it was not believed that they could fulfill the needs of the customer base. Due to improved technology and plentiful natural gas, natural gas solutions have been reconsidered.

Ultimately, it’s believed that natural gas will eventually be able to replace most of the energy production in Michigan. Natural gas is seen as a plentiful source of clean energy, which provides an excellent bridge between conventional fossil fuels and the presently non-viable sources of renewable energy. Natural gas plants are far easier to construct than other alternatives, such as wind farms, which also have the additional detriment of being too expensive. Both wind and solar energy have not been able to reduce carbon emissions as much as natural gas has, and the technology is simply not up to the demand of most communities.

The Advantages of Natural Gas Over Coal

Through the use of new power technology, natural gas is able to produce half of the carbon dioxide that is produced by a coal plant. Because of this, twice the energy can be produced with the same environmental impact. The major concerns regarding natural gas are due to the possibility of methane leaks during the production of natural gas, but studies have not shown this to be a online viagra significant threat. Because of the recent increase in natural gas production within the United States, the country  has been able to significantly reduce its carbon emissions. For those who are concerned about potential environmental impact, natural gas is the ideal solution.

Natural gas is also far more affordable than coal, especially due to the increase in production following the widespread adoption of hydraulic fracturing. Lower natural gas prices in turn lead to lower energy prices, which can be a boon to the economy and promote stronger businesses and stronger communities. Areas that transition over to natural gas rather than coal power, such as Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, will feel these impacts quickly.

As noted, the only major concerns about natural gas involve the potential leakage of natural gas into the environment. But this is something that all oil and gas companies fight hard to prevent. Through the use of safety technology such as Keystone Containment’s secondary containment systems, companies within the oil and gas industry have been able to prevent many environmental issues while still producing a clean energy resource in large quantities.