Hillman Power Co., LLC can produce up to 20 MW of power – enough for 14,000 average homes. It employs 20 people at the power plant and more than 50 other full-time jobs related to handling, processing and transporting the 225,000 tons of wood the plant uses as fuel each year.
Built in 1985, Hillman Power Co. was one of the first tenants of the Hillman Industrial Park. Some of the employees that helped build the plant work there today. These jobs include dozer operators, technicians and control room operators, plus maintenance, management and administration personnel.
Hillman Power sells its electricity to Consumers Energy, which provides power to millions of Michigan customers. That contract expires at the end of 2015 and the power plant owners, Fortistar, based in White Plains, NY, are working to obtain a contract extension, or to find another buyer for the power.
Hillman Power provides a market for low-value wood fiber, such as tops and limbs left over from timber harvest, plus bark, sawdust and similar wood byproducts generated from the forest products industry. It spends about $3.5 million a year with local wood vendors.
Wood isn't the only material used at biomass power plants. Like many Michigan biomass plants, Hillman Power blends a small amount of tire-derived fuel (TDF) into the wood fuel, which improves plant performance, reduces air emissions and ash, and helps resolve the problem of what to do with scrap tires that are banned from Michigan's landfills. All the TDF Hillman Power uses is under the Michigan Scrap Tire Management Program and regulated by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
Hillman Power is an important part of the Hillman and Montmorency County communities, providing jobs, a market for low-value wood fiber, and paying property taxes. Over its 30 years it has also helped fund school programs and college scholarships, community projects such as the grist mill, etc. etc. etc.
Hillman Power Company
750 Progress Street
Hillman, MI 49746