Consumers Energy's Lake Winds Energy Park has taken another step forward with the signing of two construction and supply contracts. The utility's first wind park is scheduled to begin operation in late 2012.
Consumers Energy has signed a contract for the balance-of-plant engineering, procurement and construction services with White Construction Inc.
Consumers Energy also signed a contract with GE-Prolec Transformers Inc. to provide electric transformers for a new substation that will serve the Lake Winds Energy Park.
Previously, Consumers Energy said that Vestas will be supplying the turbines for the project.
Consumers Energy plans to release a study about the financial benefits and economic impact of the park early in 2011.
The wind park also requires a special land-use permit from Mason County, Mich.
Wind generation is a major part of Consumers Energy's Balanced Energy Initiative, a comprehensive 20-year plan to meet the power needs of the utility's 1.8 million electric customers with a balanced energy portfolio, including energy efficiency, renewable energy and customer demand management, according to Consumers Energy.
The utility has secured easements for about 79,000 acres for wind farm development in Mason County and on the state's east side in Tuscola and Huron counties.
According to the company, Consumers Energy is the largest supplier of renewable energy in the state with 5% of the electricity provided coming from renewable sources in Michigan.
SOURCE: Consumers Energy