Point Beach Nuclear Plant, Wis., supports local economy, gains community backing

Point Beach Nuclear Plant, Wis. | NextEra Energy Resources

The Point Beach Nuclear Plant, located in Two Creeks, Wis., provides one-sixth of the power for the state and is a significant economic engine of the surrounding cities and Manitowoc County.

Many of the 700 jobs at the Point Beach station are high-skilled, high-wage employment, and the annual payroll of the plant is an estimated $62 million, not including outside contractors. The contractors brought into the area by the plant help benefit hotels, restaurants, convenience stores and other local businesses.

Point Beach is a significant player in the economy of neighboring city Two Rivers, and has enjoyed a positive relationship with the city of almost 12,000 people. Two Rivers has passed resolutions supporting the plant on issues like license renewal in the past.

“I would say that the vast majority of residents in and around Two Rivers are very comfortable with living next door to the Point Beach Nuclear Plant, and appreciate the benefits the plant provides to the State of Wisconsin and our immediate area,” said Two Rivers’ City Manager Greg Buckley.

The plant’s owner, NextEra Energy Resources, has supported local projects in the Two Rivers area, such as bike trails and sponsoring an outdoor entertainment pavilion on the Lake Michigan coast. The plant pays property taxes totaling approximately $6.8 million annually.

NextEra also works very closely with the county’s emergency management to prepare local first-responders with mock-disaster drills.

“The area has certainly felt the sting of the closure of the Kewaunee plant that’s taken place within the last couple years,” Buckley said.

Kewaunee closed in 2013 over financial concerns. This left Point Beach the only active nuclear plant in Wisconsin.