Consumers Energy Honors Five Channels Hydro with Ethics Grand Prize

Five Channels Hydro began operating on the Au Sable River in 1912 and generates up to 6,000 kilowatts of renewable energy.

Employees at the Five Channels Hydroelectric Dam near Mio recently won the grand prize in Consumers Energy’s companywide “Ethics in Action” awards program that recognizes groups of employees who collectively display the highest commitment to compliance and ethical standards.

Five Channels management and several employees were honored at an Oct. 18 ceremony in East Lansing. The facility also earned the opportunity to select a local nonprofit organization to receive a $5,000 grant from the company.

“Giving back is a major component of what it means to function as a highly ethical company,” said David Mengebier, chief compliance officer for Consumers Energy and its parent company, CMS Energy.

The Five Channels dam, which began operating on the Au Sable River in 1912, contributes to Consumers Energy’s renewable energy portfolio by generating up to 6,000 kilowatts of electricity. This hydro is named for the nearby location on the Au Sable River where there were once five distinct river channels. The site of the workers’ camp built to support construction of the dam was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 13, 2002. It is an early American example of incorporating worker safety and health provisions into construction site living, drawing heavily on lessons learned in the building of the Panama Canal.

In addition to the Five Channels facility, Consumers Energy honored two facilities — the North Kent (Sparta) and Macomb (Clinton Twp.) service centers — as runners-up. Those facilities will identify local nonprofit organizations to receive $1,000 grants. Nine individual CMS Energy employees also were recognized.

“It’s critical to recognize employees whose decisions — often under difficult circumstances — help promote a strong culture of ethics and compliance,” said Mengebier. “Their courage and integrity embody the values that have served our company well for the past 125 years.”

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.

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