Jackson-based Consumers Energy and CMS Energy announced yesterday Consumers Energy’s plans to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent, eliminate the use of coal to generate electricity, and have more than 40 percent of the energy produced come from renewable sources and energy storage by 2040.
In the last five years, Consumers has worked to reduce air emissions and water usage, save landfill space, and boost the amount of renewable energy supplied to customers. The company’s shift to cleaner fuel sources is part of its long-term strategic commitment to protect the planet.
“Our actions speak louder than words and we have a track record of doing more than is required,” says Patti Poppe, president and CEO of Consumers Energy and CMS Energy. “Our actions to date have reduced our carbon intensity by 38 percent, reduced our water usage by 35 percent, and avoided over one million cubic yards of landfill disposal. We are still not satisfied. The goals announced today represent our further commitment to leave Michigan far better than we found it, because we live here, too.”
Additionally, the company announced new five-year environmental goals for Michigan water, waste, and land. These new goals include saving 1 billion gallons of water, reducing waste to landfills by 35 percent, and enhancing, restoring, or protecting 5,000 acres of Michigan land.
The company closed seven of its 12 coal-fired generating plants in 2016, which resulted in a 38 percent carbon intensity reduction from 2008 levels and helped residential and business customers save more than $1 billion with energy efficiency programs since 2009.
Additionally, Consumers Energy announced in 2017 a Large Customer Renewable Energy Tariff program, which allows large job-providing companies the option to generate 100 percent of their energy with renewable sources from Consumers.
The company owns and operates two wind farms, operates two utility-scale solar projects, uses energy from the Apple Blossom wind park, co-owns the Ludington Clean Pumped Storage facility, and is investing in modernizing its natural gas infrastructure across the state.
The strategic roadmap for the 2040 clean energy goal will be published later this year when the company files its Integrated Resource Plan with the Michigan Public Service Commission.
Consumers Energy is Michigan’s largest energy provider and is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.