JACKSON (WWJ) — The Jackson utility Consumers Energy Wednesday announced a new renewable energy program to buy electricity produced by anaerobic digesters. The utility will provide more information on the digesters as well as residential solar projects in an information April 8 in Lansing.

Anaerobic digesters generate electricity from biodegradable materials. The process works at agricultural operations, wastewater treatment plans and food production centers. Consumers co-hosted an informational forum on the subject last fall in partnership with Michigan State University.

Consumers says it expects to buy 2.4 megawatts of electric capacity from anaerobic digesters selected through this program. It is open only to the company’s electric customers. Applications will be accepted starting April 1 and extending through June 2.

“Michigan residents expect us to generate power in new ways to reflect changes in technology,” said Timothy Sparks, Consumers Energy vice president of energy supply operations. “Our development of this pilot program will help us see how well we can develop energy from activity on our state’s farms and other facilities.”

An informational session for this program will take place at 2 p.m. April 8 at MSU’s Henry Center, 3535 Forest Road, Lansing. The session will be webcast for those unable to attend. For more information, visit http://www.ConsumersEnergy.com/EARP.

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.5 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

For more information on the workings of anaerobic digesters, visit http://www.americanbiogascouncil.org/biogas_howSystemsWork.asp.

Consumers Energy also said it has selected 19 solar-powered projects offered by Michigan homeowners to supply renewable energy. Projects in 12 counties – Calhoun, Eaton, Genesee, Ingham, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lenawee, Midland, Muskegon, Newaygo and Ottawa – were selected.

An informational session about Consumers Energy’s residential solar program will start at 6 p.m. April 8 at the Henry Center, 3535 Forest Road, Lansing. This event is open to the public and will be webcast.

Electric customers, renewable energy installers and anyone interested in customer-installed solar generating systems can attend. To RSVP or for more information, visit http://www.ConsumersEnergy.com/EARP.


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