Consumers Energy Launches Waste Conversion Pilot Program

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Consumers Energy announced Wednesday plans to buy electricity capacity from facilities using anaerobic digesters, which generate electricity from waste and biodegradable material.

“Michigan residents expect us to generate power in new ways to reflect changes in technology,” says Timothy Sparks, vice president of energy supply operations at Consumers Energy. “Our development of this pilot program will help us see how well we can develop energy from activity on our state’s farms and other facilities.”

The anaerobic digester program is open only to customers of Consumers Energy, specifically those who oversee agricultural operations and wastewater treatment facilities as well as food producers.

Brian Wheeler, a spokesman for the Jackson-based utility, says 10 percent of Consumers Energy’s power comes from renewable energy.

The 2008 Energy Law requires Consumers Energy to obtain a minimum of 500 megawatts of new capacity from renewable energy resources by the end of 2015. It will gain 2.4 megawatts of electricity capacity from the facilities using anaerobic digesters. The utility expects that it will meet that requirement by later this year, when it plans to begin operations of its Cross Winds Energy Park in Tuscola County.

An information session about the program will be held April 8 at the Henry Center in Lansing, with a webcast available at consumersergy.com/EARP.

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