Consumers Energy Karn plant to be retired, utility to boost rene - WNEM TV 5

Consumers Energy Karn plant to be retired, utility to boost renewables

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Consumers Energy says it will retire two aging power units in 2023 as part of a long-term strategy to phase out coal and boost use of renewable power sources.

The utility based in Jackson, Michigan, is filing a plan this week with the state Public Service Commission outlining its proposals for continuing to meet customer demand for electricity while eliminating coal burning by 2040.

Consumers said in a statement Wednesday the best ways to meet its goals are relying more on renewables such as wind and solar while increasing efficiency and demand management.

The strategy calls for shutting down two coal-fired units at the Karn Generating Complex near Bay City in 2023. carbon pollution per year, according to 

It also proposes adding 5,000 megawatts of solar energy during the 2020s, along with wind and battery storage.

"We plan to reduce carbon emission by 80 percent by 2040 and have no more coal in our energy portfolio," said John Broeschak, vice president of generation and compression for Consumers. "The specific positive benefit is the reduction of the carbon that we're going to emit into the environment."

Consumers said residents will see a lot more wind turbines and solar panels as a result.

"550 megawatts of wind through 2021. These two plants are 515 megawatts. And then we are saying we want 5,000 megawatts of solar generation," Broeschak said.

That translates to 100 new wind turbines in Michigan and an estimated 30,000 acres of solar panels.

The 200 workers at the Karn plant will transition to other jobs.

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