Consumers Energy has received approval from state regulators for its Clean Energy Plan, which the company said ushers in a new era for renewable energy in Michigan.

The Clean Energy Plan puts Consumers Energy on a path to eliminate coal; reduce carbon emissions by over 90 percent; and meet customers’ future electricity capacity needs with 90 percent clean energy resources by 2040. The Michigan Public Service Commission approved the plan on Friday. It also had support from leading Michigan environmental and business groups.

“Consumers Energy is proud to take a stand with our Clean Energy Plan that reflects our Triple Bottom Line strategy – making a commitment to people, the planet and Michigan’s prosperity,” said Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy’s president and CEO. “This plan establishes Michigan as a national clean energy leader and provides benefits to homes and businesses, as we supply affordable, reliable and clean energy and create innovative solutions to our state’s energy needs.”

Among the Clean Energy Plan’s highlights:

  • Coal Free & Reduce Carbon Emissions: Carbon emissions from power plants will be reduced more than 90 percent by 2040. Two coal-fired generating units at the Karn generating facility near Bay City will be retired in 2023 – nearly a decade ahead of schedule – while the three Campbell generating units near Holland are planned to close between 2031 and 2040 making Consumers Energy coal free.
  • Clean Energy: Meeting 90 percent of customers’ electricity capacity needs through clean energy resources like renewable energy, energy waste reduction, and energy storage by 2040; with the addition of 5,000 megawatts of solar energy through competitive bidding even earlier by 2030.
  • Innovative Energy Solutions: Consumers Energy will use tools such as incentives for customers to use energy more efficiently to avoid the need to invest in new, large power plants. The company’s energy efficiency programs already have helped customers save $2 billion since 2009. Customers can participate in the programs to reduce energy waste, shift energy use to more affordable times, invest in charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and support new renewable energy sources.

Poppe emphasized that the Clean Energy Plan is a response to customers who care deeply about how Consumers Energy handles issues such as air quality, water management and greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s important to understand the role that everyone plays in Michigan’s clean energy future,” Poppe said. “We are working with policymakers, businesses and environmental groups to develop our energy plan, but our customers will play a key role by participating in programs that will reduce our demand for energy and manage the power grid more efficiently and effectively.”