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Consumers Energy operating new Michigan solar facility

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Consumers Energy has started operating its second solar power facility in Michigan.

The unit of Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp. says the new 1-megawatt site is on 8.5 acres at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

The utility in April opened a 3-megawatt solar facility at Grand Valley State University. The facilities are part of Consumers Energy's Solar Gardens program, in which customers support the development of new renewable energy. Participants who subscribe to Solar Gardens will get a credit on bills based on electricity generated at Solar Gardens locations.

Consumers Energy closed seven coal-fired power plants this year and is working to develop new renewable energy sources. It operates two wind farms and contracts to buy energy generated by wind, landfill gas, anaerobic digestion and hydroelectric generation.