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Economy

Consumers Energy to power three of GM's Michigan plants with renewable electricity

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Dennis Schroeder
/
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

General Motors said it will power three of its Michigan plants with electricity from renewable sources, provided by Consumers Energy as part of the utility's voluntary green energy program.

The utility said it will be able to meet the demand with its existing renewable resources, and won't have to build new solar arrays or wind farms.

Margrethe Kearney is with the Environmental Law and Policy Center. She said these voluntary agreements between manufacturers and utilities can boost the share of renewable energy in the state.

"In Michigan, I think it has created some movement [towards more green energy], but perhaps not as much as advocates for a faster energy transition and people who are worried about climate change would like to see," Kearney said.

But she said it's still too hard for companies smaller than GM to strike similar deals, because arrangements are complex and expensive.

"I think that these programs are something that should be applauded, but there's a lot of work that needs to be done to make them more accessible," said Kearney.

GM has committed to powering all of its factories in the U.S. with renewable energy by the year 2025.

The Consumers Energy Foundation is a corporate sponsor of Michigan Radio.

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