Michigan Is Turning To Renewables For Power

The population of the state of Michigan is estimated to be 10.04 million people[1]. In April 2020, utilities used natural gas (38.5%), nuclear energy (33.5%), coal (14.8%) and renewable energy (13.2%) to generate electricity in the state[2]. Wind, hydropower, and biomass are the primary sources of renewable energy in Michigan.

Michigan’s reliance on expensive nuclear power contributes to state’s high electricity costs. In April 2020, the average cost of residential electricity in Michigan was 16.14¢ per kWh, which is the 11th most expensive state in the nation. The average price of electricity in the United States is 13.28 ¢ per kWh.

In December 2016, Michigan increased the renewable energy standard (RES) from 10% to 15% of electricity sales by 2021. The state has also implemented financial incentive programs, including grants, loans, and tax incentives for renewable energy projects like wind and solar.

Utilities in Michigan have been closing coal-fired power plants due to economic and environmental concerns. Michigan utility, Consumer Energy close the last coal-fired power plant on Saginaw Bay, Michigan by 2013. The utility intends to close all coal-fired power plants by 2040.

Consumer Energy has signed a power purchase agreement from two solar parks, which are currently being built by renewable energy company, Geronimo Energy. The two solar parks, Bingham Solar and Temperance Solar will have a total capacity of 40 MW.

Bingham Solar is located approximately 20 miles north of the state capital, Lansing, Michigan. Temperance Solar is located approximately 35 miles southwest of the city of Detroit, Michigan. The two solar parks are scheduled to be completed by year-end 2020.

Utilities across America are closing coal-fired power plants and turning to clean, renewable energy. The cost to electricity from onshore wind and solar is significantly cheaper than coal. Utilities in Michigan and across the country have found the reasons to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy compelling.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

[1] Worldpopulationreview.com

[2] U.S. Energy Information Agency, www.eia.gov

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