LUDINGTON — Consumers Energy’s $250 million Lake Winds Energy Park began serving electric customers last week with a formal declaration that it has begun commercial operation.
Lake Winds is Consumers Energy’s first wind park and has a generating capacity of 100 megawatts. It consists of 56 wind-generation turbines, all located in Riverton and Summit townships in Mason County. The utility’s investment in Lake Winds was made possible by Michigan’s landmark energy reform law.
“Consumers Energy thanks Mason County and area governmental officials in particular, for making today’s ‘start-up’ possible. Construction of Lake Winds honored our company’s commitments to safety and good communication with area residents,” said Bill Schoenlein, manager of hydro and renewable generation for Consumers Energy. White Construction Inc. was the lead contractor for the Lake Winds project. More information on Lake Winds is available at www.lakewindsenergypark.com
Consumers Energy is the largest supplier of renewable energy in Michigan. The utility is on track to meet a requirement in Michigan’s energy law that by 2015, 10 percent of the electricity it provides to its 1.8 million electric customers will come from renewable sources in the state.
“Completion of this project puts Consumers Energy on its way to meeting the 2015 requirement,” said David Ronk, Consumers Energy director for transactions and resource planning. “The addition of Lake Winds to the company’s portfolio of renewable sources increases its renewable supply to 7 percent of retail sales. The completion of other projects under development will increase our renewable supply to 8 percent by the end of 2012.”
Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), provides natural gas and electricity to 6.8 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.