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Consumers Energy signs contract with GE to help build second wind farm in Tuscola County  

Credit:  By Tarryl Jackson | June 20, 2013 | www.mlive.com ~~

JACKSON, MI – Consumers Energy’s second wind farm will further help the utility to meet the state’s requirement for renewable energy.

The Jackson-based company has signed a contract with GE (General Electric) to provide 62 wind turbine generators for the 105-megawatt Cross Winds Energy Park in Tuscola County. GE builds appliances, lighting, power systems and other products for homes and businesses globally.

“Consumers Energy is Michigan’s largest provider of renewable energy,” Consumers Energy spokesman Dan Bishop said. “The company is making excellent progress on the development of its second wind farm.”

Construction for Cross Winds is expected to create about 155 jobs and to start later this year. The company wants the wind farm to be up and running in late 2014.

The project was initially estimated to be a $250 million investment, but that will likely be reduced due to project developments, Bishop said.

The GE contract is dependent on approval by the Michigan Public Service Commission, getting a special use permit from Columbia and Akron townships in Tuscola County, and completing an interconnect agreement with the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. and International Transmission Company. Both companies are not disclosing the amount of the contract.

“The Consumers Energy project marks the second major installation of the 1.7-100 (turbine) in Michigan and we are excited to be part of the state’s energy transformation,” Anne McEntee, president and CEO of GE’s renewable energy business, said in a statement.

The operation of the Cross Winds Energy Park will help Consumers Energy meet the state’s renewable energy standard for utilities, Bishop said.

Under the state’s energy-reform law, utilities are required to have 10 percent of their power come from renewable energy sources by 2015. Consumers Energy is currently at about 8 percent.

The company is working to qualify for a federal production tax credit for wind projects to reduce the cost of Cross Winds.

Consumers Energy completed assembling its 56-turbine, 1.8 megawatt Lake Winds Energy Park in southern Mason County in September and began its operation in November. Construction for that project was estimated at $250 million.

Source:  By Tarryl Jackson | June 20, 2013 | www.mlive.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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