Consumers Energy wins OK for 100 MW wind park

Ludington, Mich., July 8, 2011 Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest renewable energy provider, received approval on July 7 from the Mason County Planning Commission of the utility's special land use permit application for the 100 MW Lake Winds Energy Park.

The wind park is enabled by Michigan's Clean, Renewable and Efficient Energy Act. This green energy project will be constructed as part of Consumers Energy's plans to meet a 10 percent renewable energy standard in that law. The Lake Winds Energy Park will produce enough electricity to meet the annual power needs of more than 31,000 residential customers.

Consumers Energy previously announced its selection of the Vestas V100-1.8 MW wind turbine for this project, which is the most efficient turbine for this region's wind speeds. Separately, the utility previously announced its selection of White Construction, Inc. to build Lake Winds.

The special land use application included detailed site layouts for 56 wind turbines, as well as three alternate locations. All of the turbine locations received previous approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, Michigan Aeronautic Commission, and the Mason County Airport Zoning Board of Appeals.

Construction of the wind park is expected to generate direct and indirect economic benefits in Mason County valued at $33 million, according to a study prepared for Consumers Energy. In addition, the Lake Winds Energy Park is expected to require about 12 full-time operation positions.

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