JACKSON, Mich., Dec. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy is finishing 2014 by selecting another 26 Michigan businesses and households that will produce solar energy.
Today, Consumers Energy buys electricity generated by solar panels from more than 225 customers. Another 68 systems are under contract to be installed in 2015.
In 2015, at least 10 percent of the electricity the company provides will come from renewable sources – solar, wind and more.
"We are pleased to be meeting part of our state's energy needs in a renewable, sustainable way," said Tim Sparks, Consumers Energy's vice president of energy supply operations. "Ten percent of the electricity we provide to Michigan now comes from renewable sources, and we'll be doing even more in the future."
Consumers Energy chose the 26 solar projects – 16 homes and 10 non-residential customers – through its Experimental Advanced Renewable Program (EARP). Customers agree to install solar arrays and then the sell electricity they produce to Consumers Energy under long-term contracts.
Ten non-residential customers in six counties – Jackson, Leelanau, Kalamazoo, Kent, Monroe and Ottawa -- were selected during the program's most recent phase.
Sixteen residential projects in 11 counties – Allegan, Grand Traverse, Gratiot, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Leelanau, Lenawee, Ogemaw, Saginaw, Shiawassee and Washtenaw – also were selected.
Consumers Energy also will be bringing on solar projects at a faster pace in 2015. Residential projects will be chosen monthly (instead of quarterly), while non-residential projects will be chosen every other month (instead of twice a year).
The next phases of the EARP will open Jan. 2, 2015, for non-residential and residential customers. Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Jan. 31, 2015. The application schedule can be found at www.consumersenergy.com/EARP.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.5 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
Solar projects selected by Consumers Energy include:
- Dotson Management LLC, Kalamazoo
- William T. Collins, Leelanau (two projects)
- Oasis Gas LLC, Monroe
- Northwest Community Schools, Jackson
- Michigan Department of Transportation, Kent
- H&O Industrial Properties LLC, Jackson
- Hardings Super Market, Kalamazoo
- Hardings Market, Kalamazoo
- Supreme Machined Products Co., Ottawa
SOURCE Consumers Energy