A new solar power plant, an 8.5-acre array of solar panels at Western Michigan University, was inaugurated by Michigan’s largest utility Consumers Energy.
“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. New renewable energy sources are vital to Michigan’s future.”
Poppe joined Western Michigan University President John M. Dunn and other leaders from the university and community today to celebrate the Solar Gardens facility.
The 1-megawatt solar power plant on university property is the energy provider’s second large-scale solar project in Michigan, joining a 3-megawatt solar power plant that opened at Grand Valley State University in April.
Consumers Energy’s Solar Gardens program aims to develop new renewable energy sources in Michigan, with the potential to power 2,000 homes. Customers support the development of new renewable energy through the program and reduce their carbon footprint.
Participants who subscribe to Solar Gardens will receive a credit on monthly bills based on electricity that’s generated at Solar Gardens locations.
Consumers Energy has made significant changes to how it generates energy, closing seven coal-fired power plants this year and developing new renewable energy sources in Michigan.
The energy provider 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-megawatt wind farm under construction in Michigan’s Thumb.