Consumers Energy agreed to add almost 400 MW from three solar projects in southern central Michigan.
The solar developments are part of the company’s Clean Energy Plan to increase renewable energy, eliminate coal as a fuel source for electricity by 2025, and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
Under the agreements, which are subject to approval by the Michigan Public Service Commission, the utility would own and operate one facility, and buy power from the other two.
The new solar projects would come online in 2023 and include:
Washtenaw Solar Energy Project, a 150 MW project in development to be built by Invenergy before ownership is transferred to Consumers Energy, which will operate the facility near Ann Arbor.
Jackson Solar, a project developed by National Grid Renewables, from which Consumers Energy would buy 125 MW of electricity for 20 years. The facility would be built near Consumer Energy’s headquarters.
Cereal City Solar, a 100 MW project developed by NextEra. Consumers Energy would buy electricity for 25 years from the facility, planned in Calhoun County near Marshall.
Consumers Energy has proposed adding 8,000 MW of utility-scale solar power by 2040, including 1,100 MW by 2024. The company said that solar is increasingly cost competitive and that it can add capacity as needed to meet Michigan’s changing energy needs without building a large, new fossil fuel power plant.
Consumers Energy is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy and provides natural gas and/or electricity to 6.8 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.