Letter: Consumers Energy prepared for renewables
As the provider of electricity to 1.8 million homes and businesses, we at Consumers Energy know we have an important job. Michigan counts on us to provide affordable, reliable and clean energy every minute of every day.
A column from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in The Detroit News ("Consumers Energy's plan costly to Michigan residents," Sept. 18) incorrectly suggested that our company is not adequately planning to ensure reliability and affordability. Nothing could be further from the truth. At Consumers Energy, we take our commitment to Michigan seriously, and the long-term energy plan we developed will ensure Michiganians will enjoy reliable, affordable and clean energy for decades to come.
Earlier this summer, Consumers Energy submitted our comprehensive, long-term Clean Energy Plan for approval by Michigan’s energy regulators. This plan was the product of over a year of planning, detailed computer modeling and input from key stakeholders and customers in Michigan. Our engineering team spent thousands of hours checking our plans and looking at hundreds of alternatives to ensure our long-term plan was the best for Michigan. Our plan details how we will stop using coal to generate electricity by 2040 and invest in clean resources like wind and solar energy. By 2040, over 40 percent of our energy will come from renewables, and we’ll reduce carbon emissions from our power plants by over 90 percent.
The transition toward a greener future will be gradual, but it will provide clear reliability, affordability and environmental benefits for Michigan.
By relying on a mix of resources – energy efficiency, wind, solar, natural gas and energy storage – we will ensure Michigan’s needs are met in an affordable, reliable and low-risk manner.
The lowest cost way to meet future energy needs is to help our customers reduce their energy use, and our plan significantly ramps up our popular energy efficiency programs which have saved customers over $1.5 billion during the last decade. In addition, the costs for solar have fallen significantly in recent years, and we expect that trend to continue.
While the sun doesn’t shine all the time in Michigan, it does energize solar panels on hot summer days when we need electricity the most to power Michigan’s air conditioners. At the same time, we will continue to maintain our power plants powered by water and natural gas that can be fired up at any time to meet Michigan’s energy demands.
You can rest assured that we are doing everything we can to ensure the power is always there when you need it, at an affordable price. The energy industry is changing for the better in many ways, and we look forward to carrying out a Clean Energy Plan that helps us serve Michigan well for decades to come.
Brandon Hofmeister, senior vice president