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Andy Balaskovitz

Andy Balaskovitz

Jackson-based Consumers Energy says it hears loud and clear the message from a growing number of large Michigan businesses that want their electricity to come from renewable sources.

MUSKEGON — As a result of the challenging economics of maintaining decades-old coal plants, communities nationwide have wrestled with how to replace lost tax revenue and repurpose large industrial brownfield sites when those facilities close.

FREMONT — After closing abruptly two years ago, a state-of-the-art biodigester facility in Newaygo County is getting a second life from one of the nation’s leading clean energy investors.

Executives in Michigan’s solar energy industry spent most of 2016 dealing with anxiety and uncertainty over proposed legislative changes most believed would have stifled growth in the state’s nascent sector.

About 20 years ago, energy experts predicted a major challenge with producing the amount of electricity needed to accommodate the huge growth of the internet and storing companies’ data on energy-intensive servers.

Roughly a year ago, Jackson-based Consumers Energy became the first major utility in Michigan to propose a statewide network of electric vehicle charging stations.

Mark Williams worked at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans for about 20 years as an employee of the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. He was laid off in 2013 when the state privatized the facility and turned to contracted workers.

Federal regulators this month rejected a plan by the multi-state electric grid operator to redesign the capacity auction process for parts of Michigan and Illinois, a move that would have affected electric choice customers and providers.

Jackson-based Consumers Energy remains in discussions with the Michigan Public Service Commission over its plan to end an agreement to buy electricity from the Palisades nuclear plant in Van Buren County.

Michigan Republicans are taking swift action at the start of this year’s legislative session to gradually phase out Michigan’s income tax.

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