Consumers Energy today celebrated its first solar power plant — a 17-acre array of 11,000 Michigan-made solar panels at Grand Valley State University that produces electricity for Michigan homes and businesses.
“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 today to celebrate the Solar Gardens facility. The 3-megawatt solar power plant on university property is the largest community solar project in Michigan, generating up to 3 megawatts, or enough electricity to serve 600 homes.
Consumers Energy is building a second site at Western Michigan University, which is expected to open late this summer, and is considering a mid-Michigan location.
Consumers Energy is exceeding state requirements to provide 10 percent 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.
- Agreeing to buy energy from a 100-megawatt 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 percent of the energy use by a major new West Michigan data center.
“We have been supporting Michigan throughout our nearly 130-year history. Efforts like Solar Gardens ensure that we continue to build a sustainable energy future for Michigan,” Russell said.
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.