CADILLAC—Officials of Consumers Energy, the state of Michigan, and the city of Cadillac this week held a formal dedication of the company’s third solar power plant, Cadillac Solar Gardens.
Consumers Energy’s Clean Energy Plan proposes using nearly 8,000 megawatts of solar energy by 2040, ending the use of coal by 2025, achieving net zero carbon emissions and saving customers $650 million through 2040.
Cadillac Solar Gardens will generate nearly half a megawatt of electricity, enough to power as many as 100 homes at a time. The site has 1,752 panels and includes a battery storage system.
“Cadillac Solar Gardens represents yet another bold step in our efforts to lead the clean energy transformation,” said Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, Consumers Energy’s vice president for customer experience. “As Consumers Energy’s first Brownfield to Brightfield project and our third solar power plant, this project will help us protect our planet, spur economic development in this community, and allow us to provide cleaner, more reliable energy across the state. It also builds on our strong and ongoing commitment to providing low-cost solar energy to our customers. Bottom line — it’s a win-win for all involved.”
The Cadillac Solar Gardens site is repurposed brownfield land with a manufacturing history that dates to the late 1800s. Before the solar power plant, the site had been vacant for more than 30 years after the closure of an auto manufacturer.
“This project marries two of Michigan EGLE’s important strategies,” said Liesl Clark, director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). “It puts a formerly vacant, contaminated property back into productive use and onto local tax rolls, improves air quality, and moves Michigan closer to meeting Governor Whitmer’s Mi Healthy Climate plan goal of statewide carbon neutrality by 2050.”
Added Cadillac Mayor Carla Filkins: “Today marks a major milestone for the city of Cadillac and the entire state as we celebrate the dedication of Consumers Energy’s Cadillac Solar Gardens. We’ve come together to turn a blighted brownfield property into a site that will play a key role in Michigan’s clean energy transformation and help better protect our environment for generations to come.”
Consumers Energy also operates solar power plants at Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University. Those two locations generate enough power to serve over 800 homes at a time.
The company’s three solar locations are part of the Solar Gardens community solar program. Consumers Energy customers enrolled in Solar Gardens pay as little as $10 a month to support solar projects and receive bill credits based on electricity that’s generated. Learn more at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/solargardens.