Michigan utility Consumers Energy to add 8GW solar, 550MW BESS by 2040 in coal retirement plan

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Renewables will comprise more than 60% of Consumers Energy’s electricity capacity by 2040. Image: Consumers Energy via Twitter.

Michigan utility Consumers Energy and a coalition of customer groups have agreed on a plan that will see the company exit from coal by 2025 through deploying nearly 8GW of solar PV and 550MW of battery energy storage systems (BESS) by 2040.

The plan, proposed in June last year to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and requiring regulatory approval, provides a 20-year blueprint to meet Michigan’s energy needs while meeting the state’s climate goals.

If approved, the settlement agreement supporting Consumers Energy’s Clean Energy Plan will see nearly 8GW of solar PV added by 2040, meaning the utility will get 60% of its capacity from clean energy sources by that date.

Meanwhile, Consumers Energy has accelerated its BESS deployment targets under the plan. It is now aiming for 75MW of energy storage by 2027, achieving 550MW by 2040.

As part of its coal phase-out, Consumers Energy intends to close all three of its units at the J.H. Campbell coal plant in West Olive, Michigan in 2025 as well as two units at the D.E. Karn coal plant in 2023. The company said it will “be among the first utilities in the nation to go coal-free by 2025.”

Other measures in the plan include the purchase of natural gas facilities, such as the Covert Generating Station in Van Buren County, to be used as peaker assets to ensure “system reliability” as well as a focus on affordable energy that Consumers Energy said would help customers save an estimated US$600 million dollars through 2040 compared to the 2018 Clean Energy Plan.

“A diverse set of stakeholders came together to endorse a Clean Energy Plan that will provide reliable and affordable energy to customers for decades to come while protecting the environment,” said Garrick Rochow, president and CEO of Consumers Energy.

A coalition of customer groups, environmental organisations, MPSC staff, energy industry representatives and the Michigan Attorney General agreed on the settlement.

“Reaching consensus on this Clean Energy Plan moves Michigan toward a cleaner, more reliable energy future while caring for our co-workers and communities impacted,” Rochow said. “We’re grateful for the thoughtful, positive contributions of all stakeholders throughout this process and look forward to the MPSC’s decision on our plan.”

In November last year, Consumers Energy announced it will add 375MW of new solar PV capacity across three projects in the state as part of the Clean Energy Plan, with the utility owning and operating one plant while purchasing power from the other two.  

Last month, another utility operating in Michigan, Indiana Michigan Power (I&M), issued a request for proposals (RFP) for 500MW of solar as part of its new integrated resource plan. The invitation seeks bids from developers of PV projects in Indiana and/or Michigan that should be online by the end of 2025.

14 June 2022
Join us in Napa to unlock the key to reliable PV module supply to the U.S. market in 2022 & 2023. We'll also be gathering the main players in the US solar market for some wine tasting!
4 October 2022
Solar & Storage Finance USA, the only event that connects developers to capital and capital to solar and storage projects, will be back in November 2022.

Read Next

May 17, 2022
Arizona Public Service (APS) has issued an all-source request for proposals (RFP) for 1-1.5GW of resources to be added before 2027.
May 16, 2022
The world added record amounts of renewable energy last year with 295GW of capacity deployed, up 6% year-on-year, despite supply chain constraints, project delays and high commodity prices, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which also expects nearly 320GW to be deployed this year.  
May 13, 2022
Retail giant IKEA has partnered with US residential solar installer SunPower to offer home PV solutions in the US.
May 13, 2022
Welcome back to PV Tech's live coverage of the third and final day of Intersolar Europe 2022. This story will be updated throughout the day, so be sure to refresh for the latest news, product launches and insight from the exhibition
May 12, 2022
Welcome back to Intersolar Europe 2022 for the exhibition's second day, and PV Tech’s rolling coverage of the event also returns. This story will be updated throughout the day, so be sure to refresh for the latest news, product launches and insight from the exhibition. Our coverage of day one can be found here.
May 11, 2022
Following on from the “unveiling” or soft launch of its battery energy storage system (BESS) at Intersolar 2021, Trina Storage has officially launched its Elementa BESS, with an particular focus on safety features and cell performance, at Intersolar 2022, where PV Tech is running a live blog.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
May 17, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal
Upcoming Webinars
May 17, 2022
4:00 PM (CEST) | About 30 minutes
Solar Media Events
June 14, 2022
Napa, USA
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA