Consumers Energy is again expanding its renewable energy program.  This time it’s turning to Calhoun County.  The new Invenergy Calhoun Solar Center in Convis Township is preparing to supply the utility with up to 140 megawatts of solar panel-generated power. Consumers figures that’s enough to adequately supply up to 70,000 residential customers. Convis Township is bordered on the east and west by Lee and Pennfield Townships, on the north side of the county.

Consumers Vice President Tim Sparks says the utility will be purchasing the power from the solar site, owned and operated by Invenergy. The Chicago-based Invenergy has renewable energy projects going around the globe. It has developed five additional renewable energy sites in Michigan including the Crescent Wind site in Hillsdale County which Consumers recently purchased from Invenergy.

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The new Calhoun Solar Center still needs Michigan Public Service Commission approval. When it is fully operational and online, it is expected to become one of the largest single source renewable energy sites supplying the Consumers' energy grid in Michigan. Calhoun Solar Center is expected to be able to sustain up to 200 megawatts of output when it is producing by the end of next year. Consumer's new agreement with Invenergy will allow the utility to tap into 70% of the site’s production capacity. The agreement is set for 25 years.

Mick Baird is senior vice president of renewable development at Invenergy. He says Consumers is making notable strides in its commitment to renewable sources.“Great progress is being made by Consumers Energy to foster sustainable communities in Michigan, and Invenergy is pleased to support this commitment by providing clean, reliable energy from our Calhoun Solar Center.”

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