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.
Today, about 4 percent of the electricity we supply to homes and businesses comes from hydroelectric generation and other renewable sources such as wind, biomass and anaerobic digesters. That total is about to increase dramatically.
We plan to more than double the amount of electricity we supply from renewable sources by 2015 to help our state and nation take critical steps toward energy independence and a cleaner environment.
We understand the importance of limiting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, reducing dependence on imported oil and increasing energy security. We’re optimistic about renewable energy’s potential, as one part of a balanced energy approach to make a positive impact on Michigan’s economic and environmental future.
That’s why we welcomed the comprehensive energy reforms passed by the state Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jennifer Granholm late in 2008. In addition to removing barriers to investing in environmentally friendly, new baseload generation needed by the state, the new law established Michigan’s first Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The RPS requires 10 percent of the state’s electricity supply to come from renewable sources by 2015.
To meet our RPS obligations, we’ll need to add more than 900 megawatts of renewable generating capacity. We plan to build and own half of this new capacity and buy the remaining half from third-party suppliers. The goal is to supply customers with about 3.6 million megawatt-hours of electricity a year from renewable sources by 2015.
Though we’ll continue to generate electricity from our 13 hydroelectric dams and other sources, wind will lead the way on our renewable energy push.
We plan to build wind farms – clusters of turbines that capture and convert wind to electricity – in Michigan. Michigan ranks 14th among the states in terms of wind production potential, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
For more information on Harnessing a New Generation of Wind Power for Michigan, view the wind power fact sheet.