Consumers Energy, one of the nation’s largest combination utilities, has recently announced the development of a $250 million Lake Winds Energy Park in southern Mason County, Mich., according to a news release.
The company, which is based in Jackson, signed a contract with Vestas-American Wind Technology, Inc. to supply 56 wind turbine generators for the park. It is scheduled to begin operation in late 2012.
The contract will require Vestas to manufacture, deliver and commission the turbine units. The overall installed generation capacity of all the units is 100.8 megawatts (MW).
John Russell, president and chief executive officer of Consumers Energy, said the company is pleased to have reached this agreement with Vestas. He believes securing the agreement is a major milestone in the development of Consumers Energy’s first wind energy park and shows its commitment to environmental stewardship.
The company plans to file the contract later this year with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), which will have to approve it. In addition, Consumers Energy has to seek a special use permit from Mason County.
Consumers Energy has also issued a Request for Proposal to eight bidders for an engineering, procurement and construction contract for the balance of the work that is needed to construct the park.
Wind generation is part of Consumers Energy’s Balanced Initiative, which is a “comprehensive 20-year plan to meet the power needs of its 1.8 million electric customers with a balanced energy portfolio, including energy efficiency, renewable energy and customer demand management,” according to the release.
By the end of 2012, the percentage of power Consumers Energy supplies to consumers that comes from Michigan-based renewable sources is expected to double, Russell said.
Jennifer Griffin, Contributing Writer and Public Relations, GreeningDetroit.com
Jennifer is pursuing a degree in Journalism and English from Wayne State University, and she is also a Contributing Writer for The South End.