Consumers Energy new proposal demonstrates move to cleaner energy

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US utilities Consumers Energy and Entergy have plans to commission the construction of a natural gas-fired energy plant to boost grid reliability.

Last week, the two companies issued a request for proposal to acquire an 800MW gas-fired power plant under efforts to sustain the reliability of their grid networks beyond 2018.

In a press statement, Consumers Energy said they plan to terminate a Power Purchase Agreement with Palisades nuclear plant in 2018 and replace energy sourced from the nuclear plant with the new gas-fired plant.

The development is expected to reduce energy costs for customers of Consumers Energy and Entergy by $172 million.

However, the decision by the energy providers to cancel the contract with Palisades nuclear plant is still being assessed for approval by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

Tim Sparks, vice president of energy supply operations at Consumers Energy, said: “We’re taking a varied, balanced approach to ensure our customers have the affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity they need to heat and light their homes, and power their businesses.

“Our approach will use a diverse set of resources that includes more energy efficiency and demand response programs to facilitate energy waste reduction, purchase of capacity and energy from resources converting from coal as a fuel to natural gas, and through this request for proposals, the purchase of one or more existing natural gas assets.” [Jordan utility tackles growing energy demand with new PPA].

Reliability of grid networks

In a move to sustain the reliability of its grid networks, reduce its operational costs, carbon footprint and consumer energy bills, Consumers Energy said it will provide its customers in Michigan with some 150,000 energy efficient LED bulbs.

Last week, the energy distribution firm announced that will provide the LED bulbs via the ‘Light the Moment with Energy STAR Buy a Bulb, Give a Bulb’ campaign.

Under the campaign, Consumers Energy will donate one LED bulb to the Feeding America West Michigan programme for every LED bulb purchased in participating retailers in the utility’s service territory.The programme will be implemented throughout this April and is expected to help the utility to improve its customer services and sustain the reliability of grid network. Read more…

 

Image credit: 123rf

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.