JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — Consumers Energy will stop using coal as a fuel source for electric generation by 2025.
Consumers came to an agreement with”key stakeholders” throughout the state of Michigan on a settlement related to the company’s Clean Energy Plan.
This new proposal would make the company one of the first in the nation to go coal-free, Consumers said.
The agreement does however require regulatory approval.
It includes a broad coalition of customer groups, environmental organizations, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) staff, energy industry representatives, and the Michigan Attorney General.
The plan provides a 20-year layout to satisfy Michigan’s energy needs while creating a strong foundation for the environment’s future.
“We are making a commitment to clean energy for our customers today.. tomorrow and for generations to come,” said Consumers Energy Spokesperson, Brain Wheeler.
One of the biggest changes in this proposal? Consumers announced it would close all its coal plants in the next 3 years.
“By 2025 all five of our existing coal plants will be closed. there aren’t many other places in the country where this is happening,” Wheeler said.
Along with going coal-free, the company also wants to prioritize solar energy by adding nearly 8,000 megawatts of solar power by 2040.
“You’re gonna see as we get rid of fossil fuels we’re gonna be developing more solar energy more battery storage there’s new technologies that are clean and affordable,” Wheeler said.
When it comes to the cost Wheeler said the switch to cleaner energy will actually save customers money.
“Our anticipation is that over the next generation our customers, consumers energy customers, are going to save 600 million dollars,” Wheeler said.
The decision to move this plan forward or not is now in the hands of the Michigan Public Service Commission.
“This is a historic commitment to lead the clean energy transformation and create a brighter future for our state. 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.”
Garrick Rochow, President and CEO of Consumers Energy
The settlement agreement supporting Consumers Energy’s plan comes after a year of listening to key stakeholders’ ideas and opinions.
The next step in the process is for the MPSC to review the settlement agreement.