Consumers Energy announced today that it plans to develop its third solar power plant in Cadillac, building on its Triple Bottom Line commitment to people, the planet and Michigan’s prosperity.
“Consumers Energy is taking a stand for our planet with our Clean Energy Plan that includes over 40 percent of our energy coming from renewable sources,” said Brian Rich, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president for customer experience. “We are excited to pursue a project that should be good for a community we serve and Michigan’s clean energy future.”
The Cadillac City Council this week approved an agreement to allow Consumers Energy to place solar panels on the Mitchell-Bentley property, a currently vacant site with a manufacturing history that dates to the late 1800s.
The solar power plant, which still needs regulatory approvals, would generate half a megawatt of electricity, enough to power as many as 100 homes at a time. It could be operating before the summer of 2020.
Consumers Energy currently operates two solar projects in Michigan, at Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University. Together, those two locations generate enough power to serve over 800 homes at a time.
The Cadillac location would join the two sites in the company’s Solar Gardens community solar program. Customers who enroll in Solar Gardens pay as little as $10 a month to support solar projects and receive bill credits based on electricity that’s generated.
“This is a wonderful example of a collaboration between the public and private sectors, all for the good of our community,” said Marcus Peccia, Cadillac city manager. “We have an opportunity to clean up a blighted brownfield site, and residents will be able to connect to a renewable energy source right here in our backyard.”
Consumers Energy last year announced its Clean Energy Plan, which focuses on developing new sources of renewable energy in Michigan. The energy provider plans to stop using coal to generate electricity and reduce its carbon emissions by 90 percent.
Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.