- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) - A utility company in Michigan has selected a development firm to demolish and redevelop two of its former coal-fired power plants.

Consumers Energy filed a request Tuesday for the sale of its 248-acre J.R. Whiting plant in southeast Michigan and its 115-acre B.C. Cobb plant in Muskegon to Forsite Development. The final purchase is contingent on approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission, which has 180 days to make a decision.

“These properties powered homes and businesses for many decades, and we are pleased that they will generate new economic growth under the stewardship of Forsite,” said Dan Malone, senior vice president of energy resources for Consumers.

Consumers Energy expects both plants to be demolished within two years of the finalized sale.

Forsite plans to convert the Cobb location into a deep-water marine terminal for cross-lake shipping. The Whiting location is expected to be turned into an intermodal terminal that offers rail-to-truck operations.

“Both sites have the benefit of existing heavy infrastructure which we intend to repurpose in a manner to attract new industry,” Forsite President Tom McKittrick said. “We’re honored and humbled that Consumers Energy chose us to create a new use for these sites.”

Consumers’ parent company, CMS Energy, has approved the agreements with Forsite with the final transactions awaiting approval from the commission.

Consumers retired the two plants in April 2016.

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