Michigan utility Consumers Energy began commercial operation of its $250 million Lake Winds Energy Park.
Lake Winds is Consumers Energy’s first wind park and has a generating capacity of 100 MW. It consists of 56 wind-generation turbines, all located in Riverton and Summit townships in Mason County.
The utility’s investment in Lake Winds was made possible by Michigan’s landmark energy reform law.
Vestas supplied the wind turbine generators for this project, and White Construction was the lead contractor.
Consumers Energy is the largest supplier of renewable energy in Michigan. The utility is on track to meet a requirement in Michigan’s energy law that by 2015, 10 percent of the electricity it provides to its 1.8 million electric customers will come from renewable sources in the state.
The addition of Lake Winds to the utility’s portfolio of renewable sources increases its renewable supply to 7 percent of retail sales. Consumers Energy has power purchase agreements with other third-party suppliers for additional renewable projects, according to a spokesman for the utility. The completion of the Beebe Wind Park, which is in final stages of development before commercial operation, will increase Consumers Energy’s renewable supply to 8 percent by the end of 2012.
Other renewable projects already in operation include the Fremont Community Digester in Fremont and the Harvest II Wind Park in Elkton.
In related news, Consumers Energy offers energy efficiency incentives to Michigan businesses, with those participating customers saving $3.9 million in annual energy costs.