Producing clean, renewable energy is nothing new at Consumers Energy.
We’ve been in the renewable energy business since the early 20th century when we began building hydroelectric dams to harness the power of Michigan’s rushing rivers.
Consumers Energy has been generating and purchasing renewable energy for the last 126 years. Currently, about 8 percent of Consumers Energy’s present power supply comes from renewable sources such as wind, biomass, hydroelectric, and landfill gas; and we will fully comply with Michigan’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) under Michigan’s 2008 Energy Law.
Launched in 2005, our Green Generation program facilitates the purchase of renewable energy by voluntary contributions from customers who enroll in the program. In 2013, 76 percent of the renewable energy purchases in this voluntary program came from wind generation and 24 percent was from landfill gas or biomass sources.
Consumers Energy’s renewable energy plan details how we will comply with Michigan’s 2008 Energy Law. This law requires Consumers Energy to use Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) in an amount equal to at least ten percent of its electric sales volume (estimated to be 3.3 million RECs annually) in 2015 and each year thereafter. RECs represent proof that the associated electricity was generated from a renewable energy resource. Consumers Energy expects to meet its renewable energy requirement each year with a combination of newly generated RECs and previously generated RECs carried over from prior years due to our early action developing renewable generation.
The 2008 Energy Law also requires Consumers Energy to obtain a minimum of 500 MW of new capacity from renewable energy resources by the end of 2015, either through generation resources owned by us or through agreements to purchase capacity from other parties. Today, our contracted and owned capacity represents 81 percent of the 2015 renewable capacity requirement. Consumers Energy expects to meet the balance of the requirement through the completion of its Cross Winds® Energy Park, a 105 MW wind park in Tuscola County, Michigan, which is expected to begin operations in late 2014.
Furthermore, all of our renewable energy developments involve careful consideration of potential ecological impacts and we remain focused on minimizing the potential impacts of wind farms on birds, bats and other wildlife. Prior to the construction of our wind farms, Consumer Energy has conducted multiple years of local studies with wildlife experts based on recommendations from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and we will continue to do so with any future developments.
Updated March 2014