Wind Power Factors Heavily Into Michigan Utility’s Updated Plan

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Consumers Energy has filed an updated renewable energy plan, which the Michigan-based utility says will save its electric customers almost 70% on their renewable energy charges this month.

The revised plan reflects changing economic conditions, improvements in wind turbine technology, acceleration of renewable energy projects and the extension of the federal production tax credit. The updated plan also includes renewable energy purchase agreements with independent developers, including several wind projects.

In addition, the plan calls for continued development of the company's 100 MW Lake Winds Energy Park in Mason County. In July, the Mason County Planning Commission voted to approve the utility's application for a special-land-use permit for the wind park. The project is expected to begin operation in late 2012.

The utility will also continue the development of its 150 MW Cross Winds Energy Park, which is scheduled for operation by late 2014.

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