Emissions, Energy Storage, Renewables

Consumers Energy seeking ideas for HQ-area Smart Energy District

Consumers Energy announced the goals for a clean energy hub it plans to create within its headquarter section of Jackson, Michigan.

The Jackson Smart Energy District aims to achieve the parent firm’s 2040 clean energy goals some 15 to 20 years earlier. Those goals include producing 40 percent of the district’s energy needs from on-site renewable sources.

The Jackson Smart Energy District will be a four-square-block area near the Consumer Energy headquarters. The utility company plans to work with private businesses and the city of Jackson to reduce the district’s carbon emissions by 90 percent.

“Consumers Energy is excited to promote economic development in our backyard and to highlight Jackson as a hub for innovation in our industry,” said Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy’s president and CEO. “We’re moving forward today with plans that will make Jackson an even more attractive place to live, work and innovate, and provide a picture of the energy future that will transform our entire state.”

Upon completion, the Jackson redevelopment area is expected to include new residential, office and parking construction, as well as historic renovation, hotel space and public infrastructure. The peak load is estimated at about 1 MW.

Ideas for the Jackson Smart Energy District could include solar panels, battery storage, energy efficiency, management and electric vehicle charging stations. Consumers Energy is putting out a request for information to attract ideas on clean energy solutions from startups and high-tech companies.

“We want to connect with the companies, technologies, business models and innovative solutions that will meet our community’s energy needs,” Poppe said. “We are striving to provide clean energy and to put Jackson, Michigan on the map as a magnet for energy innovation and the top ideas in the world.”

Consumers Energy is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy and provides natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.