Consumers Energy has issued a request for proposals to acquire a natural gas-fired generating plant of up to 800 MW, part of the company's plans to meet Michigan's long-term energy needs reliably, affordably and sustainably.
Entergy and Consumers Energy have agreed to terminate the existing contract with the Palisades nuclear plant in 2018. Purchasing an existing plant is one component of the company's plan to offset the electric capacity and energy currently provided by the Palisades nuclear plant. The contract termination, which is subject to Michigan Public Service Commission approval, is expected to lower customer costs by US$172 million.
Tim Sparks, Consumers Energy's vice president of energy supply operations, said:
"We're taking a varied, balanced approach to ensure our customers have the affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity they need to heat and light their homes, and power their businesses.
Our approach will use a diverse set of resources that includes more energy efficiency and demand response programs to facilitate energy waste reduction, purchase of capacity and energy from resources converting from coal as a fuel to natural gas, and through this request for proposals, the purchase of one or more existing natural gas assets."
Consumers Energy is interested in acquiring a simple-cycle or combined-cycle generating plant currently operating in Michigan's Lower Peninsula.
Notices of intent to bid are due by April 10, and bids are due by 5 p.m. May 15. Navigant Consulting Inc. is hosting the site and monitoring the RFP process on behalf of Consumers Energy.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy, providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
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