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JACKSON, Mich., March 14, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Consumers Energy is seeking competitive bids for the development of renewable energy projects in Michigan. The action supports the utility's Renewable Resource Program, recently approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). Consumers Energy is seeking sources to supply 265,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy.

The Renewable Resource Program is a replacement and significant expansion of a smaller Green Power Pilot Program which Consumers Energy offered from 2001-2004.

"We are pleased to work with the Michigan Public Service Commission to encourage the development of additional green power projects in Michigan. These facilities will be owned and operated by the successful bidders, and will supplement the traditional electric capacity supplied by our coal, nuclear, and hydro facilities," said John G. Russell, Consumers Energy's president and chief operating officer. Russell noted that approximately five percent of the utility's electric supply currently comes from existing alternate energy sources, such as hydro, landfill gas and biomass.

Under a separate MPSC order, Consumers Energy created a $5 million annual fund for the company's Renewable Resource Program, provided by a portion of the cost savings associated with the utility's Resource Conservation Plan. That fund will be used to offset the costs of Consumers Energy's purchase of electricity on behalf of customers from green power sources, which may be more expensive than traditional generating sources.

Consumers Energy's 1.75 million electric customers will have the option of choosing to purchase a larger part of their electric supply from green power sources, following commercial operation of the independent projects. That is expected by the end of 2005.

The utility's Request For Proposal offers independent green power developers long-term power supply contracts of up to 20 years. A copy of Consumers Energy's Renewable Resource Program Request For Proposal can be accessed at

Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy, provides natural gas and electricity to more than six million of the state's nearly 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

SOURCE Consumers Energy

Jeff Holyfield, +1-517-788-2394, or Dan Bishop, +1-517-788-2395, both of Consumers

Copyright (C) 2005 PR Newswire. All rights reserved.
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