Consumers Energy's Renewable Energy Plan Saves Customers $54 Million a Year

JACKSON, Mich., Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy electric customers will see an almost 70 percent reduction in their renewable energy charges this month.

The utility is implementing its updated renewable energy plan in September, saving its 1.8 million electric customers $54 million per year in lower costs.  A residential customer will see yearly savings of more than $22 as a result of this reduction.

Consumers Energy is Michigan's largest supplier of renewable energy.  The utility previously updated its renewable energy plan to reflect its latest cost estimates and proposed reducing a renewable energy surcharge for electric customers.  Consumers Energy received approval for its updated plan from the Michigan Public Service Commission.  

"Consumers Energy is working hard to keep costs low for our customers.  At the same time, we are effectively moving forward to develop renewable energy sources in Michigan," said John G. Russell, Consumers Energy's president and chief executive officer.  

Renewable energy is an important part of Consumers Energy's balanced energy  portfolio, which includes a diverse set of fuel sources and energy efficiency to meet future electric needs.  Michigan's energy reform law has enabled investment in renewable energy in Michigan and the creation of jobs.  

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 maintains Consumers Energy's commitment to have 10 percent of the electricity it provides to customers by 2015 come from Michigan renewable sources, as required by the state's energy reform law.  About 5 percent of the electricity supplied to its customers today comes from renewable sources.

Consumers Energy's plan calls for continued development of its 100-megawatt 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.  

Lake Winds will be Consumers Energy first wind park and 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 of its 150-megawatt Cross Winds Energy Park, scheduled for operation by late 2014.  

The updated plan also includes renewable energy purchase agreements with independent developers, including several landfill-energy and wind projects.

Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), provides natural gas and electricity to 6.8 million of Michigan's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

For more information about Consumers Energy, visit our Website at www.consumersenergy.com

SOURCE Consumers Energy



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