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Michigan regulators to decide fate of energy contract

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The Michigan Public Service Commission is deciding whether ending a nuclear power purchase contract would be a cost-saving decision for energy customers. 

The commission held back-to-back public meetings Monday in Lawrence, Michigan, to focus on Consumers Energy's plan to terminate a 15-year contract with Entergy that began in 2007 after the latter company announced plans to shut down its Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in 2018.

The original agreement let Consumers purchase nearly all of the power Palisades generates through 2022.

Consumers has proposed to recover a $172 million buy-out payment through customers utility rates.

A financing order application shows Consumers alleging its customers would save between $54 million and $1.1 billion by ending the contract early, despite the utility charges.

The commission will decide on Consumers' proposal by August.