Jackson-based Consumers Energy is putting its new Gratiot farms Wind Project online.
It is helping to advance the utility’s goal of eliminating the use of coal for power generation and generating the majority of the power it supplies from clean, renewable sources, along with energy storage, reducing energy reliance, and reducing energy waste.
The new wind farm is in Gratiot County, about 30 miles straight north of Lansing. It is online and producing about 150 megawatts of power. The utility is estimating the wind farm will be able to cover the energy needs of as many as 58,000 residents. As long as the winds remain steady enough to keep the turbine blades moving.
Dennis Dobbs is Vice President of enterprise project management, engineering, and services for Consumers. He says, “We are excited to have completed construction and bring Gratiot Farms online to serve customers. Each kilowatt we generate from renewable sources such as the wind gets us closer to our Clean Energy Plan goal of a net-zero carbon energy future.”
The wind farm includes 60 massive turbines. The site was purchased by Consumers from Enel Green Power America. Consumers Energy assumed ownership and site management last September. About 250 people worked to develop the site. But now, only about a dozen are needed to operate and maintain the site. They are all based at the wind farm headquarters located near the small town of Middleton. Consumers says the new wind farm represents a $260 million dollar investment in clean energy for Michigan. It joins similar wind farms in Mason and Tuscola counties.