A Michigan state regulatory agency denied an air quality permit for a proposed coal-fired power plant today.

The state Department of Natural Resources and Environment denied the permit requested by Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative to build a 600 megawatt plant south of the town of Rogers City. The agency said the utility had failed to demonstrate a need for the plant and hadn’t fully explored alternatives (view denial letter (PDF)).

In a news release, Gov. Jennifer Granholm said the project would have been a “job-killer” and a “roadblock in our efforts to bring new economic development investments to Michigan.”

“We are protecting hundreds of thousands of Michigan homeowners, businesses, and farmers from paying a whopping increase in their electric bills, which would have been among the highest in the nation,” she said.

In a letter sent today (PDF) to Granholm, Orjiakor N. Isiogu, chairman of the state’s public service commission, said the plant would have resulted in an estimated rate increase of nearly $77 per month for residential customers.

A spokesperson for Wolverine Power did not return a call requesting comment.

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.