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Utility Investments in Renewables Drive Economic Growth

Michigan’s energy providers hit—and even exceeded—their 10 percent renewable energy production standard last year.

Much of the progress on renewables in Michigan is driven by strong growth in the wind energy sector.  Wind power production has skyrocketed “to 61 percent of the total amount of 2,500 megawatts produced in Michigan from 7 percent in 2009,” helping create thousands of renewable energy jobs last year alone.

Investments in renewable energy made by local energy providers are not only helping Michigan work toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy future—they’re also powering real economic growth right here, right now.

Greening the Mitten, Responsibly

Local provider Consumers Energy is working with Nevada-based data company Switch to provide power to SuperNap Michigan—a data center planned for the former Steelcase pyramid in Grand Rapids—with 100% renewable energy.

According to a representative at Switch, “The goal [of powering the data center with 100% renewable energy] is to spur progress on increasing access to renewable energy and to add the perspective of large entities who intend to go green or who have already gone green, such as Switch, to the future of the U.S. energy and electricity system.”

Once operational, the data center will be the largest of its kind in the Eastern United States. The project represents a $5 billion investment over the next 10 years and is expected to create 1,000 jobs in West Michigan.  Bolstering Michigan’s economy while encouraging the development of clean, renewable, Michigan energy sounds like a win-win.

Continued Investment for the Future

Michigan’s success with utility investment in renewables doesn’t stop there, though.  Despite already surpassing Michigan’s renewable energy goals, local providers are continuing to make enormous investments in renewable energy development.

Solar Investments

Wind Development

The projects and investments planned by local energy providers are enabling Michigan to “go green” in a way that encourages economic growth and development while also preserving reliability and fairness.  Moreover, these efforts are helping us more effectively confront the impending closures of several coal-fired power plants Michigan faces this year.  Utility investments in renewable energy are killing two birds with one stone—supporting the environment and the economy at the same time.