Why did Consumers Energy create a Clean Energy Plan?
We developed a Clean Energy Plan, also known as an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), as part of the energy law Michigan adopted in 2016. The plan is a long-term tool for supplying affordable, reliable energy to customers throughout the state.
We created the forecast of Michigan’s energy future using a variety of assumptions about factors such as market prices, energy demand and levels of clean energy resources, including wind, solar, demand response and energy efficiency.
The plan is intended to guide our major strategic decisions and help lay the foundation for how we serve customers for years to come.
This plan embodies our commitment to the Triple Bottom Line of people, planet and prosperity and our “clean and lean” generation strategy of moving away from coal.
We can balance customer affordability and environmental protection — we don’t have to choose between the two.
The plan projects electricity prices will continue to be lower than the rate of inflation throughout the plan period.
We do what’s right, not merely what’s required to protect Michigan’s air, water and land.
What is included in the Clean Energy Plan?
Transition to zero coal
We plan to retire the Karn 1 and 2 coal-fired generating units near Bay City in 2023 — about eight years earlier than the end of their design lives in 2031.
Two additional coal-fired units, Campbell 1 and 2 near Holland, would retire at the end of their design lives in 2031, along with Karn 3 and 4 (which run on natural gas and fuel oil and generally are used to meet peak demand).
A third coal-fired unit, Campbell 3, equipped with state-of-the-art air quality control systems, would be retired by 2040.
This will help us end coal use for electric generation and puts us on the path to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
More renewable energy
We plan to add 550 megawatts of wind.
We’re planning 6,000 megawatts of solar energy with a ramp-up throughout the 2020s to prepare for additional coal retirements and expiring power purchase agreements. The additional solar capacity will be a mix of owned and purchased.
The plan sets renewable energy targets of: 42 percent by 2030; and 56 percent by 2040.
The plan will meet 90 percent of customers’ needs with clean energy resources.
More energy solutions
Tools such as energy efficiency and demand response and grid optimization will take on a more significant role in our generation portfolio as we retire coal plants and replace expiring power purchase agreements.
We will help customers lower their energy use by 2 percent per year going forward, which is one of the most aggressive energy efficiency investments anywhere in the country.
We will ramp up demand response programs, which help customers to use energy at the right times to manage Michigan’s energy demand and optimize the power grid. These virtual “power plants” will help us reduce energy demand and manage customer load efficiently and effectively, lowering our need to build new power plants over the next several years.
What isn't included in the Clean Energy Plan?
Proposed construction of new fossil fuel power plants.
Will the plan have an impact on energy affordability?
We are committed to maintaining affordable, competitive energy costs for all of our customers. It was a top priority as we forecasted Michigan’s future energy needs and how to meet them.
The Clean Energy Plan maintains affordability while providing the energy customers need to light their homes and power their businesses.
We expect renewable energy costs to continue to decrease.
Demand management tools give customers the power to save energy and lower their bills.
The MPSC approved our Clean Energy Plan in June 2019, confirming that we’ve developed the most reasonable and prudent strategy to serve our customers. But that’s not the end of the story. The Clean Energy Plan is designed with the flexibility to adapt to changing economic and industry conditions as well as advances in energy-related technology. We’ll keep using the state’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) process to ensure our plan remains the best for Michigan in the years to come. That means staying attuned to public input, exploring new possibilities and continually updating our forecast.
How can I participate?
There are many ways you can help us make Michigan’s clean energy future a reality.