Consumers Energy, Muskegon County partner on solar energy center

JACKSON—Consumers Energy and the Muskegon County Resource Recovery Center announced their partnership to develop the company’s first large-scale solar project, which will begin construction in April and be fully operational in 2026.

The Muskegon Solar Energy Center will be a 250-megawatt facility capable of supplying clean, renewable electricity—enough to power approximately 40,000 homes—and is part of the build-up to Consumers Energy achieving its goal of bringing 8,000 megawatts of solar online by 2040.

“Consumers Energy has some of the most aggressive clean energy goals in the nation, and projects like this are a critical part of achieving those goals,” said David Hicks, Consumers Energy vice president of clean energy development. “Partnering with an organization like the Muskegon County Resource Recovery Center, with its long history of service to the county, combined with the benefits of solar energy and the revenues this agreement can provide, is truly a win-win for all parties.”

The project will use approximately 1,900 acres of land within the Resource Recovery Center’s footprint, in partnership with Moorland Township, presenting an opportunity for a unique collaboration between the three entities to continue providing clean water—and now, clean, renewable energy—for the local community.

The Resource Recovery Center has treated wastewater in the region for 50 years and includes a working farm that utilizes spray irrigation on crops as part of the treatment process.

“This solar farm fulfills the vision of the Muskegon County Commissioners,” said Dave Johnson, director of the Resource Recovery Center. “It will benefit the users of the Muskegon County wastewater system as well as Moorland Township and the Ravenna School District. The solar project seems like a good fit―it’s something we’re proud of and thankful for.”

Consumers will own and operate the project while leasing the property beneath it, generating a significant source of ongoing revenue for the Resource Recovery Center, Moorland Township, and Muskegon County.

Consumers Energy is Michigan’s largest energy provider, providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.8 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties. Consumers Energy’s Clean Energy Plan calls for eliminating coal as an energy source in 2025, achieving net-zero carbon emissions and meeting 90 percent of customers’ energy needs through clean sources, including wind and solar.

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