Consumers Energy Unveils Ambitious 85 MW Solar Array Project on Former Karn Coal Facilities

By Editor


Consumers Energy, a trailblazer in clean energy initiatives, has taken a significant stride toward achieving its ambitious clean energy targets by unveiling plans for an 85-megawatt solar array at the site of the former Karn coal facilities, which ceased operations earlier this year.

David Hicks, Consumers Energy’s Vice President of Clean Energy Development, emphasized the thoughtfulness and dedication the company invested in closing the Karn facilities, highlighting their commitment to responsible land use and sustainability. “Based on future use studies and input from local stakeholders, solar emerged as the best option to ensure we continue to be good stewards of the land and provide valuable tax dollars for the community while advancing our sustainability goals.”

The solar array project is currently in its initial stages, and Consumers Energy is actively engaging with community members, neighbors, and local leaders to design a project that aligns with the community’s values and supports the transition toward renewable energy. Anticipated to power approximately 20,000 homes, the project is set to contribute millions of dollars in local, county, and school district taxes over its 30-plus-year operational span.

With a targeted operational date of 2026, the project epitomizes Consumers Energy’s core objectives, notably the substantial scaling-up of renewable projects, particularly solar energy, in Michigan as part of its ambitious Clean Energy Plan. Additionally, the initiative underscores the commitment to ensuring a just transition for employees amid the shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

The closure of Karn 1 and 2 earlier this year signified an important milestone in Consumers Energy’s plan to shut down all coal plants by 2025, a commendable achievement ahead of the original schedule by 15 years. This strategic transition balances the crucial responsibility of providing safe, reliable energy to power Michigan’s homes and businesses while preserving the state’s natural resources.

Over the next two decades, Consumers Energy’s Clean Energy Plan aims to:

Reduce CO2 emissions by more than 73 million tons, equivalent to removing 12.4 million passenger vehicles from the road for a year.

Drastically decrease emissions of criteria pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx), mercury, and particulate matter.

Generate over half of their electric capacity using renewable resources — wind and solar energy — by 2040.

Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy, plays a pivotal role in providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents across all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

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