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

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.