2018-03-11 / Marketplace

Consumers Energy’s new renewable energy program helps General Motors

FLINT — General Motors and Switch are the first participants in a new Consumers Energy program to help large businesses use large renewable energy sources. Both companies are now matching 100 percent of their electric use at key operations in Michigan with wind-generated power.

The energy used at Switch’s Pyramid Campus, a 1.8 million-square-foot data center campus in Grand Rapids, and General Motors’ Flint Metal Center and Flint Engine Operations is matched entirely with energy produced by Cross Winds Energy Park II, which went into operation this year in Tuscola County, in Michigan’s Thumb.

“Switch and General Motors are leading the way for companies that want to operate efficiently in a competitive environment, yet also make and meet commitments to our planet,” said Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president of operations. “We look forward to providing clean energy that will power Switch, General Motors and other large businesses that choose Michigan to locate and grow.”

Sustainably running the internet has been a bedrock principle of Switch since founder and CEO Rob Roy started the company in 2000. “It was a pleasure to work with Consumers Energy to continue Switch’s commitment to using 100 percent new, local renewable energy resources to power our data centers,” said Adam Kramer, Switch executive vice president of strategy.

Consumers Energy’s new renewable energy program for large businesses was approved last year by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

“Corporations have a leadership opportunity to help accelerate and scale renewable energy, making it more accessible and affordable for everyone,” said Dane Parker, General Motors vice president of Sustainable Workplaces. “The Consumers Energy program will help General Motors meet its commitment to source 100 percent renewable energy at all global operations by 2050, while reducing emissions in our Michigan communities and making the grid greener.”

Switch, General Motors and other businesses that choose to participate help defray the costs for new renewable energy sources. “The collaboration among a tech company and an automaker demonstrates that environmental leadership can be driven from all business sectors,” Rochow said.

Today, Consumers Energy provides 10 percent of customers’ energy use from renewable sources. Consumers Energy recently announced that more than 40 percent of the energy it produces will come from renewable sources and energy storage by 2040.

The energy provider’s new clean energy goals also include reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent and no longer using coal to generate electricity by 2040.

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