Why Coal Plant Workers Aren’t Going Green

Why Coal Plant Workers Aren't Going Green

To secure a future in clean energy, John Lammi had to climb. He stood on the ground inside the hollow steel stalk of a wind turbine. A thin ladder clung to its wall, vanishing to a dot almost 30 stories high.

He had 12 minutes to get to the top. Go.

Until that day in 2019, Lammi, 46, had worked for a decade as a machinist, fixing the equipment that converts burning coal into electricity. But his employer, Consumers Energy in Michigan, is shuttering its coal plants one by one. If Lammi passed the test, he would launch into a new career as a clean energy specialist, one of the first in the country.