Consumers Energy says it plans to begin construction this year on a $255 million wind power project in Michigan that will expand the company's renewable energy options.
The unit of Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp. announced Wednesday that it signed a contract with Southfield-based Barton Malow Co. for engineering, procurement and construction services at the Cross Winds Energy Park, a 105-megawatt wind farm in Tuscola County.
The contract is subject to approval by the Michigan Public Service Commission.
The utility's project includes 62 wind turbines in Akron and Columbia townships, about 90 miles northwest of Detroit. It's expected to create about 150 construction jobs.
Construction is to continue into 2014.
Cross Winds is Consumers' second wind farm. The Lake Winds Energy Park began operating near Ludington in November.
Meanwhile, a new study by government scientists says wind energy facilities have killed at least 67 golden and bald eagles in the last five years, but the number could be much higher.
The research represents one of the first tallies of eagle deaths attributed to the nation's growing wind energy industry. A total of 85 eagles were killed at wind farms since 1997, the study concludes, but most of those occurred in 2008-2012. Most deaths -- 79 -- were golden eagles.
While the birds are protected by federal law, the Obama administration has yet to file criminal charges against a wind energy company for killing any eagles.
A trade group, the American Wind Energy Association, said the figure was lower than other causes of eagle deaths.