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Consumers Energy proposes program to help large michigan businesses use renewable energy

Published 16 May 2017

Consumers Energy is working with large businesses, including the new Switch Pyramid data center in West Michigan, that seek to be powered 100% by renewable energy.

The Michigan utility announced today that it is proposing a program to allow large businesses to match their energy use with renewable energy sources. The energy provider is asking the Michigan Public Service Commission to approve its plan.

Consumers Energy’s first large business customer, powering its facilities with 100 percent renewable energy, would be the 1.8 million-square-foot Switch data center campus in Grand Rapids, which opened in the iconic former Steelcase pyramid building in March.

“We are excited to power Michigan businesses who prefer it with more and more renewable energy,” said Dan Malone, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president for energy resources. “This program, another element of our clean and lean focus, demonstrates how we can help large Michigan employers like Switch to act on their commitments to our state’s economic and environmental future.”

“Sustainably running the Internet has been a bedrock principle of Switch since Rob Roy started the company in 2000,” said Adam Kramer, Switch executive vice president of strategy. “It was a pleasure to work with Consumers Energy to help us continue to meet our commitment to using 100 percent new renewable resources to power our data centers.”

The proposed program offers a blueprint for Switch and other businesses that make renewable energy commitments.

Those businesses would help defray the costs for new renewable energy sources.

This would result in new renewable energy in Michigan, in addition to the 10 percent of Consumers Energy’s energy supply that already comes from clean sources.

This is a pilot program that could be expanded if there’s enough customer interest.

In short, the new program helps entities like Switch adhere to the renewable principles of additionality (new renewable resources) and locality (resources that benefit the regional grid).

Today, Consumers Energy provides 10 percent of customers’ energy use from renewable sources. Michigan’s new energy law states that 15 percent of energy will come from renewable sources by 2021.

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.



Source: Company Press Release