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Michigan utility Consumers Energy signs 100MW BESS PPA with developer Jupiter Power

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Consumers Energy Michigan pilot project.
A Consumers Energy distribution grid-connected 500kW battery storage system at Circuit West, an electrified residential development hosting innovative technologies in Michigan, US. Image: Consumers Energy.

Consumers Energy, one of eight investor-owned utility (IOU) companies in the US state of Michigan, has signed a 100MW battery storage deal with developer Jupiter Power.

The utility announced earlier this week (24 June) that it has signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for a new-build battery energy storage system (BESS) asset in the Michigan township of Coldwater.

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The deal will account for a significant portion of Consumers Energy’s target to procure 550MW of BESS resources by 2040. The utility will also build 75MW of its own battery storage capacity, and contract with other third-parties for the remainder.

In the shorter term, the utility has committed to phasing out the use of coal for electricity generation by the end of next year.

While Jupiter Power’s website doesn’t carry any information about the project, according to local news outlet Coldwater Daily Reporter, the developer received planning approvals from the township’s permitting department at the beginning of this month.

The Daily Reporter said the project, Tibbits, would represent a US$110 million investment. Jupiter Power would continue to own the asset.

Jupiter Power has a portfolio of BESS assets in operation in Texas’ ERCOT market, and a pipeline of projects in development in various US states totalling more than 11GW, the company claims.   

The developer was acquired by global asset manager Blackrock from previous owner EnCap Investments in 2022, and a few weeks ago unveiled its plans to construct a 700MW BESS at a former oil depot site in Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, Michigan’s adoption of energy storage is gathering pace after state governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of legislation that mandated a 100% clean energy standard for its utilities by 2040, and an energy storage deployment target of 2,500MW by 2030.

It became the first state in the US Midwest to set a comprehensive decarbonisation agenda in doing so. The region has traditionally been highly dependent on coal-fired generation.   

One of Consumers Energy’s fellow Michigan IOUs, DTE Energy, issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking approximately 120MW of energy storage resources in May, and earlier this month DTE began construction on a 220MW/880MWh standalone BESS project at the site of a decommissioned coal power plant.

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