JACKSON, Mich. — Consumers Energy is supporting a Michigan-first approach that keeps costs competitive for customers, announcing an agreement today to purchase renewable energy from a new 100-megawatt wind farm to be built in Michigan’s Thumb.
“We are committed to providing electricity that is affordable, reliable and sustainable, especially as seven of our coal plants are retired by April 15 next year,” said Tim Sparks, Consumers Energy’s vice president for energy supply operations.
“This new agreement demonstrates that we will enter into contracts with qualified independent third parties when projects like this one contribute to keeping our business rates competitive and our residential bills affordable.”
Consumers Energy has entered into a long-term agreement with Geronimo Energy to buy electricity from the Apple Blossom Wind Farm, located in Huron County, which plans to start construction next year. As part of this agreement, Consumers Energy will have a future option to purchase the wind farm.
Consumers Energy is a leader in developing and sustaining renewable energy sources. When this project goes online, Consumers Energy will exceed Michigan’s renewable energy portfolio mandate for utilities, having already reached its target of obtaining 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources a year ahead of schedule.
The company also was named an “environmental champion” in an independent national survey of energy providers last year.
Today, Consumers Energy purchases power from seven Michigan wind farms, and owns and operates two wind farms. The company opened the Lake Winds® Energy Park in Mason County in 2012 and the Cross Winds® Energy Park in the Thumb last fall. Consumers Energy also is developing its first community solar program, called Solar Gardens, and could start generating electricity as early as next year from potential solar locations at Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University to supplement its portfolio of hydro, biomass, landfill gas and other renewable energy sources.
“Our company has a long history of making investments in wind, solar and other renewable energy sources on our own when they make sense for the Michigan residents we serve,” Sparks said. “Our agreement with Geronimo Energy shows that Consumers Energy is working toward a Michigan-first energy solution powered by renewable resources right here in our state.”
Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.