Consumers Energy will take a big leap toward meeting the state’s renewable energy mandate next year.
State law requires utilities to get ten percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2015.
Consumers Energy spokesman Dan Bishop says the utility will build 56 wind turbines in Mason County. The project is called Lake Wind Energy Park.
"When Lake Winds begins producing electrons late next year in 2012, we will move from 5 percent to 8 percent, heading us towards the 10 percent requirement of Michigan’s law," says Bishop.
Meanwhile, DTE in southeast Michigan has further to go to meet the mandate. The company will get six percent of its electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2012.
DTE also charges customers more for renewable energy than Consumers - $3 a month versus 65 cents.
DTE says that’s because Consumers Energy was producing a significant amount of electricity from renewable sources before the state mandate was adopted. DTE was producing only one percent of its electricity from renewable sources at the time.
Consumers gets its renewably-sourced electricity from landfill gas projects, hydroelectric facilities, and wind.
Both companies are expected to use wind farms for the lion's share of the alternative energy mandate.