Consumers Energy finishes second solar power plant at a Michigan university

Grand Valley State

The Solar Gardens at Grand Valley State

Consumers Energy has started operations at its second solar power plant, transforming 8.5 acres at Western Michigan University into a new source of renewable energy for Michigan.

“We are pleased to work with Western Michigan University and the public to provide energy from new, renewable sources right here in our state,” said Dan Malone, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president of energy resources. “This solar power plant represents our commitment to powering our state reliably and sustainably, using our state’s own natural resources.”

Consumers Energy has made significant changes to how it generates energy, closing seven coal-fired power plants this year and developing renewable energy sources in Michigan. The 1-MW solar power plant on Western Michigan University property is the energy provider’s second large-scale solar project in Michigan, joining a 3-MW solar power plant that opened at Grand Valley State University in April.

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“Western Michigan University has a longtime commitment to sustainability and helping our state use its resources wisely,” said WMU President John M. Dunn. “This new facility will allow us to contribute immediately to the production of sustainable energy for Michigan and serve in the long term as an example for how partnership and innovation can be used to meet the important interests of our community.”

The two solar power plants are part of Consumers Energy’s Solar Gardens program, in which customers support the development of new renewable energy in Michigan 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, 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.

— Solar Builder magazine

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