Consumers Energy nails down turbines for 105-MW wind project

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest supplier of renewable energy, said June 20 that it has signed a contract with General Electric (NYSE: GE) to supply 62 wind turbine generators for the Cross Winds Energy Park in Tuscola County. 

The contract calls for GE to provide the turbine units, each with a capacity of 1.7 MW for the Cross Winds project, scheduled for operation in late 2014. The total installed generation capacity of all 62 units is 105.4 MW. 

“We’re making excellent progress in the development of our second wind farm. We’re pleased to reach this agreement with GE for its 1.7-100 turbine, reported to be the most efficient of its class in the world today,” said Jack Hanson, senior vice president of energy resources for Consumers Energy. “Providing renewable energy to Michigan is part of our promise to provide low cost, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for our customers. The state’s energy reform law provides the legislative direction to make this happen.”

“The Consumers Energy project marks the second major installation of the 1.7-100 in Michigan and we are excited to be part of the state’s energy transformation,” said Anne McEntee, president and CEO of GE’s renewable energy business. 

The contract, awarded as part of a competitive bid process, is contingent upon approval by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), obtaining a special use permit from Columbia and Akron townships in Tuscola County, and executing an interconnect agreement with the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and International Transmission Co. (ITC).

Consumers Energy said it recently issued a request for proposal for the balance of a plant engineering, procurement and construction contract for the Cross Winds project. 

Consumers Energy estimates that about 155 jobs will be created for Cross Winds construction, expected to begin later this year. The company is working to qualify for the federal production tax credit for wind projects in order to reduce the cost of Cross Winds and provide savings for its electric customers. 

Michigan’s 2008 energy law requires that 10% of the electricity that Consumers Energy provides its 1.8 million customers comes from renewable sources such as wind, solar, biomass and hydro by 2015.

Consumers mentioned the in-the-works Cross Winds project in a power supply cost recovery plan that it filed in September 2012 at the Michigan PSC.

Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), provides natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.