Michigan utility Consumers Energy to include 8GW solar, 550MW BESS by 2040 in coal retirement plan

Apr 21, 2022 04:59 PM ET
  • Michigan utility Consumers Energy as well as a coalition of customer teams have settled on a plan that will certainly see the company leave from coal by 2025 with deploying virtually 8GW of solar PV as well as 550MW of battery energy storage space systems (BESS) by 2040.
Michigan utility Consumers Energy to include 8GW solar, 550MW BESS by 2040 in coal retirement plan
Image: Consumers Energy via Twitter

The plan, recommended in June last year to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and requiring regulative approval, gives a 20-year blueprint to satisfy Michigan's energy requires while satisfying the state's climate objectives.

If accepted, the settlement contract supporting Consumers Energy's Clean Energy Plan will see virtually 8GW of solar PV included by 2040, implying the utility will get 60% of its capacity from clean energy resources by that date.

On The Other Hand, Consumers Energy has increased its BESS deployment targets under the plan. It is currently aiming for 75MW of energy storage by 2027, achieving 550MW by 2040.

As part of its coal phase-out, Consumers Energy plans to shut all 3 of its units at the J.H. Campbell coal plant in West Olive, Michigan in 2025 along with 2 units at the D.E. Karn coal plant in 2023. The company claimed it will "be among the very first utilities in the nation to go coal-free by 2025."

Other measures in the plan consist of the acquisition of gas facilities, such as the Covert Generating Station in Van Buren County, to be utilized as peaker assets to guarantee "system reliability" in addition to a focus on economical energy that Consumers Energy stated would certainly help customers conserve an approximated US$ 600 million dollars via 2040 compared to the 2018 Clean Energy Plan.

" A diverse set of stakeholders came together to support a Clean Energy Plan that will provide reliable and also budget-friendly energy to customers for decades ahead while protecting the atmosphere," stated Garrick Rochow, head of state as well as CEO of Consumers Energy.

A coalition of customer groups, environmental organisations, MPSC staff, energy industry representatives and the Michigan Attorney General agreed on the settlement.

" Getting to agreement on this Clean Energy Plan moves Michigan toward a cleaner, a lot more reputable energy future while taking care of our co-workers and also areas impacted," Rochow said. "We're grateful for the thoughtful, favorable payments of all stakeholders throughout this process and look forward to the MPSC's decision on our plan."

In November last year, Consumers Energy introduced it will certainly add 375MW of new solar PV capacity across 3 projects in the state as part of the Clean Energy Plan, with the utility owning and running one plant while acquiring power from the various other two.

Last month, an additional utility operating in Michigan, Indiana Michigan Power (I&M), provided a request for proposals (RFP) for 500MW of solar as part of its brand-new incorporated resource plan. The invite seeks bids from programmers of PV projects in Indiana and/or Michigan that must be on the internet by the end of 2025.

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