Release date- 06102015 - Consumers Energy is taking steps to drive down costs and improve the competitiveness of its electric rates.
These actions are playing a key role in several economic development wins for Michigan, including projects creating at least 500 jobs that are either underway or recently announced in the state.
'It's exciting to see large international companies announcing major, new projects in Michigan. We're pleased that affordable and competitive electric rates are playing a key role in the decision by these leading companies to locate here,' said Garrick Rochow, vice president and chief customer officer. 'The keys to success include competitive rates, construction incentives and the assurance of reliable and affordable service from an experienced utility. We work closely with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and our local economic development allies to attract these businesses.'
'Competitive energy prices are critical to Michigan's growth, especially for companies like these that use a lot of energy. A major factor in their decisions to locate and expand in Michigan is how competitive our electric prices are compared to other states and countries,' noted Rochow.
'We commend actions by the Michigan Legislature and the Michigan Public Service Commission to pass legislation, PA 169, and approve our electric rate plans which pave the way for us to offer competitive energy-intensive rates to these job providers. These successes illustrate the critical role policymakers can play in establishing a Michigan-first energy policy that promotes job creation and economic growth in our state,' he added.
Recently announced projects include:
Chilean-based Arauco which reported plans to invest $325 million in a large particle board manufacturing facility in Grayling, employing 250 people.
Italian-based Brembo which announced plans for a $115 million investment in expanded North American manufacturing operations in Homer, Calhoun County.
Chinese auto parts maker Dicastal with $140 million in new equipment at a facility in Greenville to manufacture and finish aluminum wheels for U.S. auto manufacturers.
In addition to these new projects, Rochow noted that many existing customers - including General Motors, Fullerton Tool Company, Herbrucks Poultry, and several others - are expanding their operations in Michigan.
Another driver in the state's economic rebound is Pure Michigan Business Connect, in collaboration with the MEDC, which encourages business-to-business investment and purchasing. As part of Pure Michigan, Consumers Energy has committed to investing $1 billion per year for the next 5 years with other Michigan-based companies.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.