What Our New Summer Time of Use Rate Means for You
Beginning in June, you will transition to our new summer Time of Use rate, and we want you to be prepared. To help you understand what this means for you, we've created a new, personalized bill impact tool based on your summer 2018 electric use. This tool is available online and will help you see how small changes in your routine can make a big impact on your bill.
Our new summer Time of Use rate is part of a statewide effort to reduce energy use when demand is highest – on summer weekdays between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. With this new rate, when you use energy is just as important as how much you use. By shifting your energy use outside the hours of peak demand you could lower your bill.
Phase II of the Cross Winds® Energy Park calls for construction of a 44 MW wind project featuring 19 GE 2.3-116 wind turbines. Phase II construction began in the spring of 2017 and the project became operational in early 2018. The project will generate additional economic benefits for the township and the region including construction jobs, additional tax revenues and multiple economic impacts from payments to landowners. Phase III offers an additional 76 MW by adding 33 of the same GE wind turbines. Phase III construction will begin in April 2019.
The wind turbines in Phases II and III of the Cross Winds Energy Park will be located in Columbia Township with supporting work performed at the Operations and Maintenance facility in Akron Township. Special land use permit applications filed with Akron and Columbia Townships were approved in the fall of 2016.
Details about the special land use permit application can be found below:
Multiple factors were considered regarding the expansion of the Cross Winds Energy Park, including an increase in customers invested in additional alternative renewable energy options, changes in energy legislation and the availability of a production tax credit.
The Cross Winds Energy Park currently provides a source of clean, renewable energy stemming from the wind blowing across our state. Michigan now requires that 15% of the state’s energy come from renewable energy sources by 2021 (Public Act 342 of 2016). This is up from the previous requirement of 10% (Public Act 295 of 2008). Construction of Phase II and Phase III of the Cross Winds Energy Park will allow Consumers Energy to increase production from renewable energy sources in order to help meet the increased future renewable energy requirements.
Tax credit changes have also contributed to the decision to expand the Cross Winds Energy Park. The end of 2016 will see the Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) begin to disappear, with a 20% reduction every year following.
Tax credits offset the expense of wind farm projects. By filing groundwork for construction within 2016, Phases II and III remain eligible for PTCs.
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