Consumers Energy announces new solar plant

Following the release of the company’s updated Clean Energy Plan, executives from Consumers Energy, the state of Michigan, and the city of Cadillac, USA, have inaugurated the company’s third solar power plant, Cadillac Solar Gardens. The Clean Energy Plan proposes using nearly 8,000 MW of solar energy by 2040, phasing out coal by 2025, achieving net-zero carbon emissions, and saving customers $ 650 million by 2040.

Cadillac Solar Gardens will generate nearly half a MW of electricity, enough to power up to 100 households at the same time. The site has 1752 panels and includes a battery storage system.

“Cadillac Solar Gardens is another bold step in our effort to lead the clean energy transformation,” said Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, vice president of customer experiences for Consumers Energy. “As Consumers Energy’s first brownfield-to-brightfield project and our third solar power plant, this project will help us protect our planet, fuel economic development in this community, and enable us to provide cleaner, more reliable energy across the state. It also builds on our strong and ongoing commitment to bring affordable solar energy to our customers. Conclusion ¬– a win-win situation for everyone involved. “

The site is a converted fallow area with a manufacturing history that goes back to the late 19th century. In front of the solar power plant, the site stood empty for more than 30 years after a car manufacturer had shut down.

“This project brings together two key Michigan EGLE strategies,” said Liesl Clark, director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). “It brings a previously vacant, contaminated property back into productive use and on local tax lists, improves air quality and brings Michigan closer to the goal of Governor Whitmer’s Mi Healthy Climate plan of being nationwide carbon neutral by 2050.”

Consumers Energy also operates solar power plants at Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University, both also in the United States. These two locations generate enough electricity to supply over 800 households at the same time.

The company’s three solar sites are part of the Solar Gardens community solar program. Consumer energy customers enrolled with Solar Gardens pay just $ 10 per month to support solar projects and receive billing credits based on the electricity they generate.

Every year the company adds more clean, renewable, solar-generated power for Michigan. It is planned to bring 1,100 MW solar power on a supply scale to the grid between 2022 and 2024. The company’s solar ramp-up will continue over the next decade. By 2040, clean, renewable energy sources such as sun and wind will account for more than 60% of the company’s electricity capacity.

In addition to its environmental benefits, solar energy is increasingly competitive with other fuel sources. Consumer Energy can also gradually add solar power, which gives flexibility to respond to new needs, adapt to changing conditions, and adopt new technologies – without having to build a large new fossil fuel power plant.

The company is one of Michigan’s largest utility companies, supplying 6.8 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 counties of the Lower Peninsula with natural gas and / or electricity.

For more news and technical articles from the global renewable industry, see the latest issue of Energy Global magazine.

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