Power Plant Operator (Dearborn, MI – CMS Enterprises)


CMS Enterprises owns and operates independent power generating plants, natural gas assets and an energy marketing group for the non-utility segment of CMS Energy’s business.  We are proud of our strong history of reliably serving our utility, municipal, commercial and industrial customers.  Equally important to us is our role as a responsible corporate citizen through environmental stewardship and providing direct and indirect employment opportunities and other economic benefits to the communities we serve.  Our strategy is focused on continued exceptional financial results through strong operations and safety performance, optimization of our assets, and disciplined growth in the domestic energy sector.

Department Summary


The Dearborn Industrial Generation (DIG) is a combined natural gas and blast furnace gas fueled power plant located in Dearborn, Michigan adjacent to the Ford Rouge industrial complex. The facility is capable of generating up to 800 MW of electricity and 1.2 million pounds per hour of steam. The plant is comprised of one simple cycle gas turbine, two high-efficiency natural gas combined cycle units with heat recovery steam generators, three blast furnace gas/natural gas boilers and one steam turbine. DIG provides AK Steel, Inc. and Ford Motor Company with steam to serve their heating and processing needs. DIG sells its capacity and energy into the MISO market.


This position will be located at the Dearborn Industrial Generation, L.L.C. plant in Dearborn, Michigan.


Supervisory Relations


This position reports to the Operations Manager via the Shift Supervisor.


Job Summary


The Plant Operator is responsible for equipment operation and record keeping duties on a variety of moderately complex systems such as: distributed control, water, steam, combustion and turbine generator within established procedures.


The selected candidate will have the:

  • Ability to productively work independently and as an integral plant staff team member.
  • Possesses ability to read and understand moderately complex logic diagrams, wiring diagrams/schematics, and piping/instrument diagrams (P&ID’s).
  • Ability to use analytical judgment to plan and perform diversified work, making decisions within prescribed limitations.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and work in a team environment.


Required Qualifications


  • High School diploma OR GED.
  • 3+ years of experience in a Power Plant atmosphere (gas turbine combined cycle preferred) or equivalent.
  • Be able to use standard computer software programs such as spreadsheets, word processors, databases and other common programs.
  • Demonstrate good verbal and written communication skills.
  • Must pass entry level aptitude test (EEI) for application consideration.
  • Must obtain a City of Dearborn High Pressure Boiler Operator’s License within 120 days of hire.
  • Thorough knowledge of all plant systems and understanding of process and electrical diagrams, plant procedures and measurement standards.
  • Ability to use analytical judgment to plan and perform diversified work, making decisions within prescribed limitations.
  • Ability to effectively communicate with co-workers and take direction from others.


Preferred Qualifications


  • Technical training, in electrical generation, boiler operation and/or gas turbine operation.


Essential Functions


Responsible for overseeing and the direct operation of major plant equipment and record keeping duties to ensure safe and efficient plant operations within established procedures and parameters.


Major Responsibilities:

  • The Plant Operator shall be responsible for performing equipment operation and record keeping duties inclusive of maintaining shift logs and equipment records.
  • Maintain strict adherence to Plant Safety, Water Chemistry, Operation and Administrative programs and procedures.
  • Monitors the operation of major plant equipment and systems and takes appropriate action to ensure they are operated safely, in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Operates assigned control systems including distributed control, water, steam, combustion, turbine generator and related components in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Identifies and corrects problems; reports problems requiring further action to the Shift Supervisor.
  • Responds to alarms in a timely manner; operates necessary equipment to effectively respond to critical situations.
  • Performs other similar and related work as directed by Plant Management.
  • Assists the Plant Maintenance Department in performing preventative and corrective maintenance as assigned.
  • Maintains assigned control systems to ensure proper operations. 
  • Performs routine equipment maintenance, safety checks, inspections and adjustments, as required.
  • Takes measurements and readings and compares with standards. 
  • Implements corrective actions within established procedures.
  • Assists chemistry personnel in maintaining the boiler system by adding/transferring chemicals, as appropriate, and in monitoring the boiler, cooling water and waste water chemistry. 
  • Implements corrective actions within established procedures, as required.
  • Inspects and monitors environmental equipment. 
  • Provides equipment cleaning, filter changes and calibration gas adjustments.
  • Logs equipment operating data in an accurate and timely manner.
  • Performs maintenance activities during plant outages and minor maintenance on shift as required.
  • Maintains a safe work environment through job planning, housekeeping, and adherence to plant safety rules and procedures, and identification and correction of hazards.
  • Maintains a clean and orderly work area.


Hours and Travel


  • Ability to work overtime, as well as any shift schedule, including nights, weekends, and holidays.
  • Travel up to 10% annually may be required.


Physical Demands


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.


Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 


  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; stand; walk; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; use hands to finger, handle, push or pull, or feel objects, tools, or controls; and reach with hands and arms.
  • Frequently required to talk or hear.
  • Frequently lift and move up to ten pounds and occasionally lift and move up to seventy-five pounds. The recommended maximum weight for employes to lift without the aid of other employees or a lifting device is 35 pounds. 
  • Ability to climb ladders, scaffolding, ramps, and poles and be at heights of 100 feet.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color vision, depth perception, field of vision (including inspection), and the ability to adjust focus.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job:


  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
  • The noise level on the field site is often loud.
  • Subject to both inside and outside environments; extreme hot and cold temperatures; below freezing and above 100 degrees.
  • Subject to hazards such as electricity, high heat, chemicals and the proximity to moving mechanical parts.
  • Subject to atmospheric conditions such as fumes, odors, dusts, mists, gases, poor ventilation, oils and other lubricants.
  • Required to wear personal protective equipment such as full face respirators, SCBA’s, goggles, safety glasses, safety shoes, etc.
  • Maintain qualifications for the position as defined in the DIG Plant Qualification Program including training to qualify as a Control Room Operator (CRO).
  • Have the ability to remain calm and work under pressure conditions in the event of off-normal plant events or evolutions, inclusive of changing priorities and job functions.


Application Deadline

This Job opening is posted for a minimum of seven (7) calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended.


Position will be filled at the appropriate salary grade based upon the skills, knowledge, and experience of the selected candidate.

All qualified applicants will not be discriminated against and will receive consideration for employment without regard to protected veteran status, disability, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.