Consumers Energy developing 250 MW solar project in Michigan


Michigan utility Consumers Energy and the Muskegon County Resource Recovery Center announced a partnership to develop a 250 MW solar facility in the county.  

The project is in pursuit of the utility’s goal to add 8 GW of solar by 2040. This would represent an enormous growth ramp for solar in Michigan, which currently totals 1.4 GW, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). 

Approximately 1,900 acres of land within the Resource Recovery Center’s (RRC) footprint will be developed for the project, in partnership with the Moorland Township. The RRC has treated wastewater in the region for 50 years and maintains a working farm that uses spray irrigation on crops as part of the treatment process. 

“This solar farm fulfills the vision of the Muskegon County Commissioners,” said Dave Johnson, director of the Resource Recovery Center. “It will benefit the users of the Muskegon County wastewater system as well as Moorland Township and the Ravenna School District.” 

The 250 MW project is expected to generate enough power for the equivalent of about 40,000 homes. It is slated for commercial operations in 2026.

Image: Consumers Energy

Consumers Energy will own and operate the project while leasing the land beneath it, creating a source of ongoing revenue for the RRC.

Consumers serves electricity to 6.8 million of the 10 million people living in Michigan’s lower peninsula. The utility’s clean energy plan calls for eliminating coal as an electricity source by 2025 and achieving 90% emissions free electricity over the next 20 years. The company expects to bring 1.1 GW of solar online by the end of 2024. 

“We expect to meet our solar energy targets using less than 2% of farmland in Michigan,” said Consumers Energy. “We’re considering potential locations as farm fields – including those less ideal for growing crops – brownfield sites and publicly owned properties.”

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