Consumers Energy energizes 3-MW solar project at Michigan university

Consumers Energy on June 10 celebrated its first solar power plant – a 17-acre array of 11,000 Michigan-made solar panels at Grand Valley State University.

“We are pleased to energize Michigan with new, renewable sources of energy,” said John Russell, president and CEO of Consumers Energy. “This new Solar Gardens location illustrates our commitment to finding new approaches that will sustain our state for generations to come.”

Russell joined Grand Valley State University President Thomas Haas, Michigan Public Service Commissioner Norman Saari and community leaders on June 10 to celebrate the Solar Gardens facility. The 3-MW solar plant on university property is the largest community solar project in Michigan.

Consumers Energy noted that it is building a second solar project at Western Michigan University, which is expected to open late this summer, and is also considering a mid-Michigan location. Consumers Energy is exceeding state requirements to provide 10% of its electricity from renewable sources and continues to develop renewable energy sources in Michigan by:

  • Operating two wind farms, one near Lake Michigan and one in the Thumb area of the Lower Peninsula, north of Detroit.
  • Agreeing to buy energy from a 100-MW wind farm under construction in the Thumb.
  • Contracting to buy energy generated by wind, landfill gas, anaerobic digestion and hydroelectric generation.
  • Planning to develop additional sources of renewable energy to meet 100% of the energy use by a major new West Michigan data center.

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.