Consumers Energy lights up 3-MW solar project in Michigan

Consumers Energy on April 18 started operations at its first large-scale solar project, which is sited on 17 acres at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.

“The first location in our Solar Gardens program demonstrates our commitment to building a sustainable future for Michigan,” said Dan Malone, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president of energy resources. “We are pleased to work with Grand Valley State University to develop a new source of renewable energy that will help power homes and businesses.”

The 3-MW facility is the largest community solar project in Michigan. Consumers Energy is building a second site at Western Michigan University, which is expected to open late this summer, and is considering another location in the Lansing area.

The utility has been active in developing renewable energy sources in Michigan. It operates two wind farms, one near Lake Michigan and one in the Thumb, and contracts to buy energy generated by wind, landfill gas, anaerobic digestion and hydroelectric generation.

Consumers Energy also has contracted to buy energy from a 100-MW wind farm under construction in Michigan’s Thumb area in the eastern Lower Peninsula and has helped Michigan State University transition its on-campus power plant from coal to natural gas as a fuel source.

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state’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.