Michigan Utility Shifting Former Coal-Generation Site to Solar


Investor-owned utility Consumers Energy says it is spearheading the development of an 85 MW solar array at the former Karn coal facilities in Essexville, Bay, Mich., which closed earlier this year.

“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 to provide valuable tax dollars for the community while still pushing us further toward our sustainability goals,” says David Hicks, Consumers Energy’s vice president of clean energy development.

The project is in its early stages, and Consumers Energy is working with community members, neighbors and local leaders to design a responsible project that fits with the community and continues the path toward renewable generation. The project could provide enough power for approximately 20,000 homes and will pay local, county and school district taxes, totaling millions of dollars over its 30-plus-year lifetime.

The closure of Karn 1 and 2 in June marked continued progress toward Consumers Energy’s goal of closing all coal plants by 2025 – 15 years ahead of the original schedule.

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