Consumers Energy has updated its renewable energy plan to reflect the latest market conditions and proposes lowering costs for electric customers by about $55 million per year. The utility has filed its updated plan for review by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC).
The updated plan calls for a reduction in a renewable energy surcharge applied to customer bills, subject to MPSC approval. The revised plan reflects changing economic conditions, improvements in wind turbine technology, acceleration of renewable energy projects and the extension of the production tax credit.
The updated plan maintains Consumers Energy's commitment to have 10% of the electricity it provides to customers by 2015 come from Michigan renewable sources, as required by the state's energy reform law. In 2010, about 5% of the electricity supplied to its 1.8 million customers came from renewable sources.
Consumers Energy's plan calls for the continued development of its 100 MW Lake Winds project in Mason County, Mich. That facility is expected to begin operation in late 2012. An economic impact study for this construction project estimates that the total direct and indirect economic benefits to Michigan would be $132 million. The number of construction jobs for the project is expected to peak at about 150 workers.
The utility will also continue development in Tuscola County, Mich., of its 150 MW Cross Winds project, scheduled for operation by late 2014.
SOURCE: Consumers Energy