Consumers Energy has stepped up efforts to go green, recently announcing it will close all its coal plants by 2025 — 15 years ahead of earlier plans.
Removing coal from the power equation is just the start. The Jackson-based utility provider plans to produce more than 60% of electric capacity from renewable sources by 2040. The plan would make Consumers one of the first in the nation to end the use of coal while providing a 20-year design involving more renewable energy production.
“We are proud to lead Michigan’s clean energy transformation and be one of the first utilities in the country to end coal use,” President and CEO Garrick Rochow said. “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.”
If the Michigan Public Service Commission gives the plan a green light, Consumers would step up closure of three coal-fired plants at its complex near Holland.
Consumers also announced early closure of Karn 3 and Karn 4, units that run on natural gas and fuel oil, by 2023, eight years sooner than expected.
Cities and employees impacted by the closures won’t be left in the dark.
“Consumers Energy is committed to a just transition away from coal as a fuel source for electricity,” said Brandon Hofmeister, senior vice president for governmental, regulatory and public affairs. “We supported employees and communities impacted by our 2016 coal retirements by finding new roles for workers who wanted to stay, fulfilling our environmental responsibilities at the sites and helping local leaders pursue new economic possibilities. We plan to follow the same philosophy to help those affected by the proposed Campbell and Karn retirements.”