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Michigan-based utility Consumers Energy has signed a contract with GE to supply 62 1.7-MW wind turbines for the Cross Winds Energy Park. Located in Tuscola County, Cross Winds will become the utility's second wind farm, joining the 100 MW Lake Winds Energy Park in Mason County.

The GE contract is contingent upon approval by the Michigan Public Service Commission, obtaining a special use permit from Columbia and Akron townships in Tuscola County, and executing an interconnect agreement with the Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc. and International Transmission Co.

Consumers Energy says that the wind project will help the utility meet Michigan's 10% by 2015 renewable portfolio standard, and the company is actively working to qualify for the federal production tax credit for wind projects in order to reduce the cost of Cross Winds.

"Providing renewable energy to Michigan is part of our promise to provide low-cost, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for our customers. The state's energy reform law provides the legislative direction to make this happen,” says Jack Hanson, senior vice president of energy resources for Consumers Energy.

Following regulatory approvals, the utility says it expects the Cross Winds Energy Park to be operational in late 2014.

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