Consumers Energy Speeds Up Move Away From Coal
In just four years, Consumers Energy figures it can be generating electricity without burning coal. The ambitious new approach to providing energy for Michigan speeds up the utilities plan by more than a decade. If it can do it, Consumers would become one of the first power generating operations in the United States to move entirely away from coal. Consumers CEO Garrick Rochow, who just recently assumed leadership of the utility, says along with going coal-free in four years, Consumers plans to be using clean energy sources at a level of 90 percent in just under 20 years.
Consumers provides natural gas, electricity, and in many cases, both, for residential and business customers in every county in Michigan’s lower peninsula. power for residential and business customers.
CEO Rochow says he knows the goals are lofty, but also critical. “We are proud to lead Michigan’s clean energy transformation and be one of the first utilities in the country to end coal use. We are committed to being a force of change and good stewards of our environment, producing reliable, affordable energy for our customers while caring for our communities during this transition.”
The utility's updated long range energy plan includes developing the infrastructure to supply as much as 8,000 kilowatts of solar energy within 20 years. Utility executives figure the plan will save customers about $650 million in utility costs in the same time frame. By 2040, Consumers is targeting renewable solar and wind generating capabilities to supply better than 60 percent of what it supplies the state.