Consumers Energy recently received approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) for its Clean Energy Plan, ushering in a new era for renewable energy in Michigan.
The Clean Energy Plan puts Consumers Energy on a path to eliminate coal, reduce carbon emissions by more than 90%, and meet customers' future electricity capacity needs with 90% clean energy resources by 2040. The PSC-approved plan also had support from leading Michigan environmental and business groups.
The highlights of the Clean Energy Plan are as follows:
- Coal free and reduced carbon emissions: Carbon emissions from power plants will be reduced by more than 90% within 2040. Two coal-fired generating units at the Karn generating facility near Bay City will be retired in 2023 — nearly a decade ahead of schedule — while the three Campbell generating units near Holland are expected to close between 2031 and 2040 making Consumers Energy coal free.
- Clean energy: Meeting 90% of customers' electricity capacity needs through clean energy resources like renewable energy, energy waste reduction, and energy storage by 2040, with the addition of 5000 MW of solar energy through competitive bidding even earlier than 2030.
- Innovative energy solutions: Consumers Energy will use tools such as incentives for customers to use energy more efficiently to avoid the need to invest in new, large power plants. The company's energy efficiency programs already have helped customers save US$2 billion since 2009. Customers can participate in the programs to reduce energy waste, shift energy use to more affordable times, invest in charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and support new renewable energy sources.
"Consumers Energy is proud to take a stand with our Clean Energy Plan that reflects our Triple Bottom Line strategy — making a commitment to people, the planet and Michigan's prosperity," said Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy's president and CEO. "This plan establishes Michigan as a national clean energy leader and provides benefits to homes and businesses, as we supply affordable, reliable and clean energy, and create innovative solutions to our state's energy needs."
Poppe emphasized that the Clean Energy Plan is a response to customers who care deeply about how Consumers Energy handles issues such as air quality, water management and greenhouse gas emissions.
"It's important to understand the role that everyone plays in Michigan's clean energy future," Poppe said. "We are working with policymakers, businesses and environmental groups to develop our energy plan, but our customers will play a key role by participating in programs that will reduce our demand for energy and manage the power grid more efficiently and effectively."
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy, providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.