No Sun? No Big Deal. Eclipse Doesn’t Stop Consumers Energy’s Solar Panels or Plans

JACKSON, Mich., April 3, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — In ancient times, some thought a dragon was swallowing the sun, or that it was the end of the world. These days, it’s an occasion for gawking, a scramble for the right shades and social media posting.

But for Consumers Energy’s solar power plants, next week’s much-ballyhooed eclipse is just another day at the office.

“A total solar eclipse is a big deal, but not for our solar arrays. On April 8, they’ll continue to generate electricity throughout the day. And while solar power is the centerpiece of our Clean Energy Plan, we also have other energy sources that are serving Michigan,” said Norm Kapala, Consumers Energy’s vice president of generation operations.

“The good news is, sunshine or not, our customers will have the power they need before, during and after next week’s eclipse.”

Consumers Energy owns and operates three solar power plants, in Cadillac and at Grand Valley State and Western Michigan universities. All sit outside the “path of totality,” which in Michigan includes only communities like Luna Pier in the southeast part of the state.

There’s lots more sun on the horizon. Consumers Energy plans to add 8,000 megawatts of solar energy by 2040. Those plans include the just-announced Muskegon Solar Energy Center, which will start operating in 2026.

Read more: No sun? No problem? Solar delivers in every season

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

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