The Consumers Energy unit of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS) on Sept. 16 celebrated its second solar power plant – an 8.5-acre array of solar panels at Western Michigan University that produces electricity for Michigan homes and businesses.
“We are committed to a sustainable future for Michigan, which is why we built this power plant as part of our Solar Gardens program,” said Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy’s president and CEO. “We’re a different kind of company – leaving our environment better than we found it every day.”
Poppe joined WMU President John M. Dunn and other leaders from the university and community leaders today to celebrate the Solar Gardens facility. The 1-MW solar plant on university property is the energy provider’s second large-scale solar project in Michigan, joining a 3-MW solar plant that opened at Grand Valley State University in April.
Consumers Energy has made significant changes to how it generates energy, closing seven coal-fired units this year and developing new renewable energy sources in Michigan. It operates two wind farms, one near Lake Michigan and one in the Thumb area of the Lower Peninsula (near Lake Huron), 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.
Consumers Energy provides natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.