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Whitmer celebrates Earth Day, announces state offices will be 100% renewable energy by 2025

The state says this goal is made possible through partnerships with three major utilities, DTE, Consumers Energy, and Lansing Board of Water and Light.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced April 22, 2021, that state-owned facilities will utilize...
Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced April 22, 2021, that state-owned facilities will utilize 100% renewable energy by 2025, which is made possible through partnerships with DTE, Consumers Energy, and Lansing Board of Water and Light.(State of Michigan)
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 2:38 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - On Earth Day Thursday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that state-owned facilities would utilize 100% renewable energy by 2025.

The state says this goal is made possible through partnerships with three major utilities, DTE, Consumers Energy, and Lansing Board of Water and Light. The energy purchased will expand the utility’s renewable portfolio in Michigan, rather than simply rerouting existing renewable energy that is already being generated.

“Since my first day in office, we’ve continued to make real, lasting progress on environmental and climate issues across our state,” said Governor Whitmer. “By moving state-owned buildings to 100 percent clean, renewable energy, we are working towards protecting public health and our environment, while attracting more clean energy jobs to Michigan. Actions like this and the MI Healthy Climate Plan will be paramount within the next 10 years to reduce the harmful impacts of climate change. I will continue to work towards building a stronger, more sustainable future for Michiganders and for future generations to come.”

In addition to moving towards 100% renewable energy for state-owned buildings, the state is also launching an interagency team across state government departments to identify our potential solar footprint and develop and implement a plan to deploy solar across our state-owned lands and properties.

“DTE Energy is proud to play a leading role in helping the state of Michigan achieve its sustainability aspirations through enrollment in DTE’s CleanVision: MIGreenPower voluntary renewable energy program,” said Jerry Norcia, President & Chief Executive Officer of DTE Energy. “As the state’s leading producer of renewable energy, DTE remains committed to increasing clean energy generation, creating a more sustainable future for all Michiganders.”

“The Lansing Board of Water & Light has a long history of helping government, residential and business customers to achieve their renewable and clean energy goals, and we’re proud to be partners with the State of Michigan for this project,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley. “The BWL is working to become the Utility of the Future, because now more than ever, we have to do our part to keep our community cleaner and greener.”

“Like Gov. Whitmer, we at Consumers Energy are bullish on the role clean energy plays in helping Michiganders save energy and money – and there’s no better customer to showcase that value than the state of Michigan itself,” said Garrick Rochow, President and CEO of Consumers Energy. “Consumers Energy is committed to doing good for our customers and the planet. Our new partnership with the state builds on our Clean Energy Plan as we eliminate coal, dramatically increase renewable energy and achieve net zero carbon emissions.”

“This action shifts the State of Michigan from being a major consumer of electricity to a major driver of our clean energy economy,” said John A. Kinch, PhD, Executive Director of Michigan Energy Options, a nonprofit solar development consultant to the State. “By doing this, the State accomplishes three things at once: It puts the State on course to meet its carbon goals, in part, through solar generation, it helps the utilities meet their renewable energy commitments and it serves the people of Michigan by catalyzing our public and private sectors to decarbonize our future.”

“This is a very exciting proposal for Michigan’s environment,” said Conan Smith, President & CEO of the Michigan Environmental Council. “Through a partnership with our utilities, the governor is honoring her bold commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and she’s using the buying power of state government to directly expand renewable energy generation right here in Michigan. This is the kind of power move we like to see!”

Both initiatives align with Executive Directive 2020-10, which formally sets economic decarbonization in Michigan by 2050. To ensure steady progress toward this goal and prevent irreparable harm to Michigan’s ecosystem, residents, and businesses in the interim, the Executive Directive further provides that Michigan will aim to achieve a 28 percent reduction below 1990 levels in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

Transitioning to carbon neutrality will mitigate the future harms of climate change and enable Michigan to take full advantage of the ongoing global energy transformation—from the jobs it will generate for our skilled workforce to the protections it will provide for natural resources, to the savings it will bring to communities and utility customers.

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