Utilities, Commercial, Industrial, Regulation, Sourcing Renewables  -  September 22, 2017

Utility launches 100% RE program for big businesses

One of Michigan's largest utility's, Consumers Energy, on Sept. 22 announced a new program to help large businesses be powered 100% by renewable energy.

The news follows a flurry of announcements from utilities in recent weeks regarding new programs designed to cater to increasing demand from large commercial and industrial companies for clean energy options. A few days before, Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power announced a program featuring hourly credits and renewable energy credits; Dominion Energy Virginia on Sept. 6 announced a new community solar program and future plans for increased renewable energy options for its business customers. 

"Large businesses increasingly are making commitments to a future powered by clean energy, and we are pleased to give them the tools to do that," Brian Rich, Consumers Energy's senior vice president of customer experience and technology, said in a statement. "This is good for our environment and our state. Large employers looking to locate or expand in Michigan should know that energy providers like Consumers Energy can help them achieve their clean energy goals."

The CMS Energy subsidiary recently received approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission to create the program, which allows large businesses to match their energy use with renewable energy sources.

The proposed program offers a blueprint for businesses that make renewable energy commitments. Consumers said in a news release that those businesses would help defray the costs for new renewable energy sources, which would result in new renewable energy in Michigan on top of the 10% of Consumers Energy's energy supply that already comes from clean sources.

Consumers said the pilot program could be expanded, with permission from state regulators, if customer interest warrants. 

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