Consumers Energy broke ground today on two renewable energy projects in partnership with Spring Creek Farms, launching Michigan’s first “AgriEnergy” center. The dairy farm will host a renewable natural gas (RNG) biodigester and a 140 MW solar array.

“This first-of-its-kind project provides a blueprint not only for other farms, but for the entire state, on how to integrate the clean energy transformation into existing businesses,” said David Hicks, vice president of clean energy development for Consumers Energy. “This project will produce meaningful solar output and significantly reduce emissions, while enabling a local institution to keep its doors open. This is truly a win for everyone.”

RNG technology captures methane released by decomposing organic wastes — like the manure from cows on dairy farms — and purifies it. Consumers Energy announced earlier this year the expansion of its RNG program, which aims to reduce emissions for the company and the state’s farmers in the coming years.

“Renewable natural gas is a unique, cost-effective, and easily accessible way to reduce emissions while also providing the affordable natural gas we know our customers need,” said Holly Bowers, vice president of gas engineering and supply for Consumers Energy. “Farmers like Oesch family are truly leading the way in this piece of Michigan’s clean energy transformation, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact the AgriEnergy center will have on their farm and the community.”

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 by 2025, achieving net-zero carbon emissions and meeting 90% of customers’ energy needs through clean sources, including wind and solar.

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