Thanks largely to nuclear energy, Illinois provides nearly half of the region’s energy production.
Though 4 out of 6 states are electricity importers, the region as whole is a net electricity exporter.
Illinois leads the nation in net capacity (11,441 megawatts) and net electricity generation (96,190 megawatts) from nuclear power.
The Midwest Core states—Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin—are all members of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO), a regional transmission organization that oversees the region’s bulk electric power system and transmission lines.
All of these states rely upon coal for electricity production. In Indiana, for instance, nearly 85% of the state’s electricity generation is fueled by coal, and 9 of its 10 largest power plants are coal-fired. Coal supplies more than 80% of the net electricity generation in Missouri, more than 50% in Indiana and Wisconsin and nearly 50% in Minnesota.
In Illinois and Michigan, coal power is balanced with nuclear power. The six nuclear power plants and 11 reactor units in Illinois account for more than 12% of the nation’s nuclear power. The three nuclear power plants and four reactor units in Michigan provided 30% of the state’s net electricity generation in 2014.
The Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant outside of Bridgman, Michigan, is the state's largest nuclear facility. The plant produces enough electricity to meet the needs of a city of 1.25 million people.
The Port of Duluth-Superior transports coal from Wyoming and Montana to the East through the Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Seaway system. Petroleum products and coal are also shipped from Wisconsin ports along the Upper Mississippi River System.
Whiting oil refinery has the largest processing capacity—about 413,000 barrels per day—of any refinery outside the Gulf Coast Hub.