Consumers Energy to Increase Clean Energy Use with Three Solar Projects

Consumers Energy in Jackson announced agreements to add almost 400 megawatts of clean energy — enough to power nearly 190,000 homes — from three Michigan solar projects in south central Michigan.
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Person standing in solar panel field
Consumers Energy announced agreements to add nearly 400 megawatts of clean energy from three Michigan solar projects. // Courtesy of Consumers Energy

Consumers Energy in Jackson announced agreements to add almost 400 megawatts of clean energy — enough to power nearly 190,000 homes — from three Michigan solar projects in south central Michigan.

The solar developments are part of the company’ Clean Energy Plan, which aims to drastically increase renewable energy, eliminate coal as a fuel source for electricity by 2025, and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

“Increasing clean energy for our customers shows our commitment to being a force of change for clean energy that benefits the people of Michigan and protects our planet,” says Dennis Dobbs, vice president of enterprise project management and environmental services at Consumers Energy. “Our partners in these projects are helping us transform the energy landscape and create a cleaner energy future for generations to come.”

Under the agreements, which are awaiting approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission, Consumers would own and operate one of the facilities, while purchasing power from the other two. The solar projects are expected to come online in 2023.

The Washtenaw Solar Energy Project is a 150-megawatt project in development to be built by Invenergy, a multinational power generation development company headquartered in Chicago, before ownership is transferred to Consumers Energy, who will then operate the facility near Ann Arbor.

Consumers will purchase 125-megawatts of electricity for 20 years from Jackson Solar, a project developed by Bloomington, Minn.-based National Grid Renewables. The facility is planned for Jackson County near the Consumers Energy headquarters.

Cereal City Solar, a 100-megawatt project developed by NextEra, an energy company based in Juno Beach, Fla., from which Consumers would purchase electricity for 25 years from the facility expected to be built in Calhoun County near Marshall.

Under its Clean Energy Plan, Consumers Energy has proposed adding 8,000 megawatts of utility-scale solar power by 2040, including 1,100 megawatts by 2024. It is using a competitive bidding process to ensure maximum value for its customers.

Consumers Energy is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy, providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.8 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

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