Renewable Energy

Behind-the-Scenes of a Consumers Energy Employee; Careers in Energy Week

Posted on October 16, 2014. Filed under: Company Operations, Consumers, Economic Development, Economy, Education, electric, Electric Generation, Electric Safety, Electricity, employee, energy, Energy Efficiency, Environment, Events, Natural Gas Safety, reliability, Renewable Energy, Safety, sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Although we’re rounding out the end of Careers in Energy Week, Consumers Energy wants to keep public awareness about energy-related jobs alive well after the statewide celebration. We plan to continue recruiting top Michigan talent for rewarding careers in energy.

Consumers Energy is pleased to work with DTE Energy and the Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium during this celebration to raise awareness for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

To hear about job openings, follow Consumers Energy on LinkedIn!

A Day in the Life of a Consumers Energy Employee

From lineworkers to power plant operators, customer service representatives to accountants and technicians to engineers, there are a variety of careers Consumers Energy offers throughout the state of Michigan. Check out a few behind-the-scenes videos from Consumers Energy employees:

1. System Controller

 

2. Senior Project Manager

 

3. Lineworker Trainer

 

4. Electric Field Leader

 

5. Dispatcher

 

Check out current job openings at Consumers Energy!

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Michigan Students Wanted for Careers in Energy Week, Consumers Energy Internships

Posted on October 15, 2014. Filed under: Community, Company Operations, Consumers, Economic Development, Economy, Education, electric, Electric Generation, Electricity, employee, energy, Energy Efficiency, Environment, Events, Renewable Energy, sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

“Careers in Energy Week” isn’t just a time to create awareness for Michigan’s energy sector– it’s an opportunity to recruit Michigan students. From lineworkers to power plant operators, customer service representatives to accountants and technicians to engineers, there are a variety of careers Consumers Energy offers throughout the state of Michigan.

Michigan Students Wanted

Our focus is to increase worker skills and enhance training programs to continue the growth of Michigan’s energy sector. Check out careers in energy by the numbers:

  • Michigan’s energy workforce currently makes up 84,000 jobs
  • Over the next seven years, 50 percent of utility workers will be eligible for retirement
  • Jobs are expected to increase by 5.6 percent by 2018
  • Median salaries in the energy industry range from $51,572 to $88,027 with an associate degree and industry credentials

Consumers Energy offers a variety of programs for students to begin their career in energy. From elementary school to college graduates, we’re investing in Michigan’s future with a strategic recruiting initiative.

Interns pose for a 'grouphie' at the Intern Luncheon 2014.

Consumers Energy Interns pose for a ‘grouphie’ on Intern Challenge Presentation day, August 2014.

Consumers Energy Summer Internship Program

We offer paid summer internships in various departments and Michigan locations from May to the end of August. Consumers Energy interns have real-world responsibilities, assignments and projects and even participate in our Summer Intern Challenge.  To qualify, you should:

  • Be enrolled in a 4-year college program
  • 3.0 GPA or better
  • Study programs like engineering, information systems and technology, accounting/finance or business
  • Be willing to learn
  • Have effective verbal and written communications skills
  • Demonstrate excellent leadership ability
  • Be able to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Have the ability to work 40-hours per week

Check out more information on Consumers Energy Internships!

 

Meet Consumers Energy representatives at career fairs this fall! Below is our On Campus Schedule:

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‘Careers in Energy Week’ Kicks Off in Michigan, Consumers Energy Teams with DTE Energy

Posted on October 13, 2014. Filed under: Company Operations, Consumers, Economic Development, Economy, Education, electric, Electric Generation, Electricity, employee, energy, Energy Efficiency, Events, Renewable Energy, sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

In recognition of “Careers in Energy Week” in Michigan, we’re helping increase public awareness of energy-focused options in the workforce. As Michigan’s energy sector transforms to develop cleaner technology with energy efficient methods, it’s essential to invest time into enhancing workers’ skills. The sustainability of Michigan’s energy industry depends on it.

We’re pleased to work with DTE Energy and the Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium to support and raise awareness for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. The energy sector in Michigan:

  • Employs 84,000 people and creates more than 1,200 new opportunities a year
  • Consumers Energy and DTE Energy combine to provide 500 co-op and internship opportunities every year

 Careers in Energy: Pathways

The Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) launched Get Into Energy to build awareness among students, parents, teachers and guidance counselors about the many career options in the energy industry. Check out these Career Pathways Roadmaps to learn more about different types of careers in energy:

Click graphic to begin the Career Pathways Roadmaps at GetintoEnergy.com

Click the graphic to begin at GetintoEnergy.com

 October is also STEM careers month! Check out their full list of events!

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Consumers Energy Named Top 15 Most Sustainable Energy Providers Worldwide

Posted on September 24, 2014. Filed under: Community, Company Operations, Education, Electric Generation, employee, energy, Energy Efficiency, Environment, Renewable Energy, sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , , |

It’s official– Consumers Energy is ranked among the top energy providers in the world for sustainable environmental, social and economic practices! According to Sustainalytics, a leading global research firm that measures sustainable business practices for investors, we ranked number 14 out of 226 worldwide.

Protecting Michigan’s People and Natural Resources

Our Promise is to care for the Michigan communities we serve. Consumers Energy is committed to sustainability by:

  • Improving Air and Water Quality

Michigan’s air is the cleanest it has been in a generation, thanks in part to reduced emissions from the company’s power plants. We will continue to reduce carbon emissions by more than 20 percent and mercury by 80 percent. Consumers Energy also plans to reduce its water intensity by 20 percent by 2020.

The Top 7 Tips to Save Water at Home

  • Developing Renewable Energy

Consumers Energy will open its second wind farm, Cross Winds® Energy Park, this fall. The addition should help us generate 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources a year ahead of schedule. The company has more than 200 contracts with Michigan homes and businesses that provide solar energy. Consumers Energy also started an anaerobic digester program with Michigan farms this year.

  • Caring for Communities

Employees, retirees, the company and foundation gave more than $8 million to Michigan nonprofits last year. Employees led a record Walk for Warmth campaign this spring and donated 50,000 hours of community service last year to local charities and non-profits. The company is also supporting various United Way organizations this fall.

Consumers Energy holds sustainability efforts near and dear. We want to leave Michigan a better place than we found it, for generations to come.

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Consumers Energy Connects Michigan Students with New EmPOWERed Kids Smartphone App

Posted on September 5, 2014. Filed under: Community, Company Operations, Consumers, Education, electric, Electric Generation, Electric Safety, energy, Environment, Natural Gas, Natural Gas Safety, Renewable Energy, Safety, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The EmPOWERed Kids program features safety presentations for Michigan classrooms.

The EmPOWERed Kids program features safety presentations for Michigan classrooms.

 

 

 

Tis the season for freshly sharpened pencils and brand new folders. That’s right—September is back-to-school month in Michigan. As parents are preparing lunches and students are filling school buses, Consumers Energy launches its new smartphone app and classroom program called EmPOWERed Kids. The new technology provides Michigan students, teachers and parents with an engaging way to learn about energy.

Students enjoy the fun learning experience created by the EmPOWERed Kids program

Students enjoy the fun learning experience created by the EmPOWERed Kids program

 

 

 

EmPOWERed Kids Across Michigan

Every year, Consumers Energy teams up with Michigan schools to deliver important lessons about electricity and natural gas, renewable energy and safety. Not only are we committed to energy lessons in the classroom with the EmPOWERed Kids program, but parents may also download the free app at home for continued learning.

The EmPOWERed Kids app is available for most smartphone devices and tablets including iPads. Search “EmPOWERed Kids” in the App or Play Store to download now. Our engaging app teaches kids about:

  • How electricity is made from coal, wind, water and even cow manure
  • How to recognize danger signs involving electricity and natural gas
  • What natural gas smells like and what to do to stay safe

For more information, teachers and parents can read

Consumers Energy’s education newsletter!

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Michigan International Speedway, Consumers Energy are Winning with Renewable Energy

Posted on August 18, 2014. Filed under: Business, Community, Company Operations, electric, Electric Generation, Electricity, energy, Environment, Renewable Energy, sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

 

It’s official– the fastest track in NASCAR is going green! Michigan International Speedway (MIS) plans to improve Michigan’s environment with the help of Consumers Energy. MIS will match 100 percent of its electricity use with renewable energy made in Michigan, part of our Green Generation program.

Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy Vice President of Customer Experience, Rates and Regulation, joins Roger Curtis, President of Michigan International Speedway, on Aug. 17 to announce plans to get on track for a greener Michigan.

Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy Vice President of Customer Experience, Rates and Regulation, joins Roger Curtis, President of Michigan International Speedway, on Aug. 17 to announce plans to get on track for a greener Michigan.

MIS is on track to a greener Michigan by:

  • Allowing Consumers Energy to provide NASCAR fans with charging cell phone stations
  • Planting more than 3,000 trees for each of the two race weekends in Michigan
  • Working with Consumers Energy to identify ways to cut energy use
  • Looking into the development of wind, solar and other renewable energy generation at the racetrack
  • Teaming with Consumers Energy to provide energy efficiency tips to more than 2,200 campsites in and around the racetrack

Where does Green Generation Come From?

Michigan-based wind power provides about 75 percent of the energy for Consumers Energy’s Green Generation program. Michigan-based landfill gas provides approximately 25% of the energy for the Green Generation program. Methane gas is formed as part of the waste decomposition process in landfills. This gas is used to power generators that create energy.

Here are a couple facts about wind generation you need to know:

  1. Wind power has been the fastest-growing source of energy in the world since 1990
  2. Michigan is ranked in the top 20 U.S. states for wind-power potential
  3. Over 100 Consumers Energy wind turbines will be operational in Michigan by 2015
  4. A wind turbine (blade and tower) can be as tall as a football field is long (over 300 feet)

Check out how to enroll in Consumers Energy’s Green Generation Program.

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Always On: Day in the Life of a Consumers Energy Lineworker Trainer in Michigan

Posted on August 12, 2014. Filed under: Company Operations, Education, electric, Electric Safety, Electricity, employee, reliability, Renewable Energy, Safety | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

José Rivera Fuertes Jr. is a Consumers Energy Electric Employee Development Consultant who trains entry-level apprentices, journeymen lineworkers and lineworkers-in-charge at the Marshall Training Center. Fuertes teaches the necessary skills needed to perform efficient electrical work like splicing cables and fixing transformers in the safest possible way.

Marshall Training Center: The Stats

Consumers Energy’s Marshall Training Center was rebuilt in 2008 and includes:

  • 5 acres of land which contains poles, electric lines and transmission systems for training
  • A main building with six large classrooms and three labs
  • An indoor training area with 23 training poles and an underground substation vault
  • A renewable energy center
  • Two wind turbines and a fixed-panel solar array which power the Marshall buildings and are used to teach renewable energy to trainees

LEED Certified to Lead the Way

The Marshall Training Center is also built with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, part of our environmental commitment. This means the buildings use materials, energy and other resources more efficiently like:

  • Carefully positioned skylights
  • Sensors that trigger lights on and off when people use training classrooms
  • An advanced insulated design that includes renewable and recyclable materials

Check out more information on Consumers Energy’s environmental commitment.

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POOP TO POWER: 4 Michigan Farms to Produce Electricity with Anaerobic Digesters for Consumers Energy

Posted on July 22, 2014. Filed under: Company Operations, electric, Electric Generation, Electricity, Environment, Renewable Energy | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Animal waste is the newest energy source to benefit Michigan businesses, customers and the environment thanks to long-term electric generation contracts signed recently with Consumers Energy.

We’re taking steps to diversify our energy supply and help the environment by selecting four Michigan farms to produce renewable energy with anaerobic digesters.

AnaerobicDigester

The following Michigan farms were selected:

HOW THEY WORK: Learn more about the workings of anaerobic digesters: www.americanbiogascouncil.org/biogas_howSystemsWork.asp.

This new program develops dependable, renewable energy produced here in our state for the Michigan homes and businesses we serve. The addition of anaerobic digestion brings more diversity to our existing renewable energy supply from wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric dams. Learn more about Consumers Energy’s anaerobic digester program at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/EARP.

Consumers Energy developed this new anaerobic digester program along with Michigan State University and the state’s agricultural community. Anaerobic digesters generate electricity from biodegradable material – in this case from four Michigan farms.

The farms will be offered the opportunity to generate electricity under long-term contracts that collectively provide 2.6 megawatts of electric capacity. That’s enough to power about 2,800 homes.

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Variety of Fuel Sources helps Power Michigan with Reliable, Sustainable Electricity

Posted on July 16, 2014. Filed under: Company Operations, electric, Electric Generation, Electricity, Energy Efficiency, Environment, Natural Gas, Renewable Energy, sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Michiganders across the Lower Peninsula receive electricity from Consumers Energy that is generated through a variety of fuel sources. From fossil fuels to renewable resources, we are committed to providing sustainable energy for a cleaner environment. Environmental Characteristics of Consumers Energy Electricity, April 1, 2013-March 31, 2014

EnvironmentalElectricityHere are the primary fuel sources we use to generate electricity for 1.8 million homes and businesses:

Fossil Fuels – Coal, Natural Gas and Oil

Consumers Energy owns and operates four fossil fuel plants, all certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council. The process of electric generation occurs when coal, natural gas and oil heats water to produce steam—a method that accounts for 70 percent of our electric generating capacity. More than $800 million is being invested to help control air emissions at our fossil-fueled plants in the next few years.

Nuclear

This process of electric generation occurs when uranium atoms split to create heat, which is then used to make the steam. Nuclear energy powers 20 percent of the total electricity to our customers. See how Consumers Energy restored Big Rock Point, Michigan’s pioneer nuclear power plant.

Pumped Storage

Located along the Lake Michigan shoreline, the Ludington Pumped Storage plant is one of the world’s biggest electric “batteries,” and can provide energy at a moment’s notice. It uses a 27-billion gallon reservoir (size of 2 million backyard swimming pools) to turn a set of six turbines that drive electric generators.  Those same turbines double as giant water pumps to fill the reservoir with water from Lake Michigan.

Renewable Energy

From Michigan rivers to wood, wind, solar, biomass and animal waste, renewable energy represents about 8 percent of the fuel mix for our customers. We are on schedule to produce 10 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2014. Customers also can choose to get part or 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources made in Michigan through our Green Generation program.

  • Hydro:  Consumers Energy built 13 hydroelectric plants in the early 20th century. Today, the same plants create enough energy to serve about 70,000 customers. Their turbines and generators convert the energy of flowing water into electricity used in homes and businesses. Michiganders may camp, fish, canoe and enjoy other recreational activity near the hydros scattered on the Au Sable River, Grand River, Kalamazoo River, Manistee River and Muskegon River.
  • Wind:  Generating electricity through wind power is a renewable resource Consumers Energy is proud to invest in. The process occurs when wind turns the blades of turbines, spins a shaft and connects to a generator to create electricity. Our wind farms are located in Mason County and Tuscola County. Each turbine can generate enough electricity for more than 400 customers and there are 40 to 100 individual wind turbines per wind farm.
  • Solar:  Consumers Energy has more than 200 solar power contracts with residents and businesses throughout Michigan. Twenty-two new, diverse solar energy projects were also just selected to continue our efforts. Solar energy is generated when speeding sunlight (called photons) creates an electrical current within a solar panel.

Reducing energy use – In addition to a balanced energy portfolio, we are working every day with businesses and homeowners all over Michigan to reduce their energy use. Michigan residents saved $575 million through energy-efficiency programs through 2013. Learn more at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/save.

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Solar Power is Heating up in Michigan at Consumers Energy with 22 New Projects

Posted on July 3, 2014. Filed under: Business, Community, electric, Electric Generation, Electricity, energy, Renewable Energy, sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

As the saying goes, if you don’t like the weather in Michigan, wait five minutes and it’ll change. One thing for certain about our four seasons, they all include sunlight and that means solar power.

SolarPanelHouseAt Consumers Energy, we’ve selected 22 new projects offered by businesses and homeowners across the Lower Peninsula to produce solar energy through our Experimental Advanced Renewable Program.

We continue to see a healthy interest in solar energy from the residents and businesses we serve, and we’re pleased to add these to the more than 200 contracts for solar power we already have in place.

We certainly have help from a diverse group of individuals and businesses in developing a renewable energy supply for the future.

Five non-residential projects in four counties were selected. The projects will provide 546 kilowatts of electric capacity, and they range in size from 21 to 150 kilowatts.

Solar projects selected by Consumers Energy include:

Seventeen residential customer projects in 13 counties – Bay, Barry, Clinton, Eaton, Gladwin, Hillsdale, Ingham, Jackson, Kent, Monroe, Newaygo, Ottawa and Washtenaw – also were selected. The projects will provide about 171 kilowatts of electric capacity, and they range in size from 2.5 to 20 kilowatts.

The customers were chosen as part of our Experimental Advanced Renewable Program (EARP). The program provides for the long-term purchase of renewable energy generated by solar energy systems owned by electric customers.

We’re on target to use renewable sources for 10 percent of the electricity we supply by 2015. Those sources include solar and wind energy, biomass, hydroelectric power and anaerobic digestion. A chart showing the environmental sources of our energy and the Midwest region from April 2013 through March 2014 is on the back of July customer energy bills.

The next phase of the EARP is opening for residential customers. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. Aug. 6.

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