JACKSON — Customer-initiated solar projects in Grand Traverse, Jackson, Kent, Ottawa and Saginaw counties have been selected as participants in the next phase of Consumers Energy’s Experimental Advanced Renewable Program.

The program provides for the long-term purchase of renewable energy generated by solar energy systems owned by the utility’s electric customers.

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The projects are all non-residential and were recently selected during a random drawing of qualified applicants.

The projects are:

* 30 kilowatt (kW) system owned by American Waste & Recycling, Grand Traverse County;
* Three systems ranging from 4.8 kW to 6 kW owned by Ridgewood Vista, Jackson County; 
* 150 kW system owned by Byrne Electrical Specialists, Inc., Kent County; 
* 23.8 kW system owned by Park Place Apartments, Kent County;
* 20 kW system owned by Reender’s Blueberry Farms LLC, Ottawa County; 
* Two systems ranging from 5.7 kW to 6.9 kW owned by Vista Villa Apartments, Saginaw County.

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“This initiative supports Consumers Energy’s goal of providing a balanced energy resource for our customers,” said David Ronk, Consumers Energy’s director of transactions and resource planning.

Customer installations under earlier phases of the 5,000 kW program have added or are adding approximately 2,300 kW of solar energy to Michigan’s electric system. These 9 customers will join 134 other Consumers Energy electric customers already participating in the Experimental Advanced Renewable Program.

Consumers Energy is currently soliciting residential electric customers who apply before May 3 to participate in this program as well. More information on the Experimental Advanced Renewable Program is available at:  www.consumersenergy.com/EARP

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.

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For more information about Consumers Energy, visit at www.consumersenergy.com