BLP discusses future of Shiras Steam Plant

MARQUETTE — The Marquette Board of Light and Power held a meeting Tuesday night, and discussed what the future of the Shiras Plant could be.

No voting took place at the meeting, but options were lightly discussed. At this time, coal, as an energy source, is not as cost effective as natural gas – seen in the newly instated Marquette Energy Center.

One option for the plant would be to invest in a $900,000 boiler to keep equipment at proper temperatures, should the plant ever need to be reopened. Another is to simply move away from keeping the plant alive, and consider demolition alternatives.

“There’s really nothing unique about this – we’ve seen this transition away from aging coal facilities to cheaper, more efficient, natural gas facilities, renewable energy, be it solar or wind, and these types of other resources,” said Executive Director of the Board of Light and Power, Tom Carpenter. “It’s a shift not just here, but everywhere in the country.”

The Board of Light and Power has upcoming meetings in July and August to discuss the matter further.