Consumers Energy completed installation of 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-MW 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.
The state requires the utility to provide 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, and Consumers Energy is doing so by:
• Operating two wind farms, one near Lake Michigan and one in the Thumb.
• Agreeing to buy energy from a 100-MW 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.
— Solar Builder magazine