Jackson’s Consumers Energy has received state approval for its Clean Energy Plan. The effort includes eliminating the use of coal as a power source, reducing carbon emissions by more than 90 percent, and meeting customers’ future electricity capacity needs with 90 percent clean energy resources by 2040.
“Consumers Energy is proud to take a stand with our Clean Energy Plan that reflects our Triple Bottom Line strategy – making a commitment to people, the planet, and Michigan’s prosperity,” says Patti Poppe, president and CEO of Consumers Energy. “This plan establishes Michigan as a national clean energy leader and provides benefits to homes and businesses, as we supply affordable, reliable, and clean energy, and create innovative solutions to our state’s energy needs.”
The plan includes reducing carbon emissions from power plants more than 90 percent by 2040. The two coal-fired generating units at the Karn generating facility near Bay City will be retired in 2023 – nearly a decade ahead of schedule – while the three Campbell generating units near Holland are planned to close between 2031 and 2040 making Consumers Energy coal free.
The utility intends to meet 90 percent of customers’ electricity capacity needs through clean energy resources like renewable energy, energy waste reduction, and energy storage by 2040; with the addition of 5,000 megawatts of solar energy through competitive bidding even earlier by 2030.
Consumers Energy says it will use innovative energy solutions such as incentives for customers to use energy more efficiently to avoid the need to invest in new, large power plants. The company’s energy efficiency programs already have helped customers save $2 billion since 2009.
Among steps utility customers can take right now are shifting energy use to more affordable times, investing in charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, and supporting new renewable energy sources.
Poppe emphasizes that the Clean Energy Plan is a response to customers who care deeply about how Consumers Energy handles issues such as air quality, water management, and greenhouse gas emissions.
“It’s important to understand the role that everyone plays in Michigan’s clean energy future,” Poppe says. “We are working with policymakers, businesses, and environmental groups to develop our energy plan, but our customers will play a key role by participating in programs that will reduce our demand for energy and manage the power grid more efficiently and effectively.”
DTE Energy in Detroit, another large utility in the state that mostly serves southeast Michigan, has committed to similar goals.