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Consumers Energy to slash carbon emissions by 80%, phase out coal by 2040

Consumers Energy Co. laid out plans to reduce carbon emissions by 80%, phase out of coal power generation by 2040, and to source 40% of its energy from renewables and energy storage instead.

The CMS Energy Corp. subsidiary on Feb. 19 announced that it will file its Integrated Resource Plan with the Michigan Public Service Commission later this year, detailing its strategies to reach its clean energy goals by 2040. Consumers Energy will focus its efforts in minimizing energy usage and adding renewable projects such as wind and solar.

"Our actions to date have reduced our carbon intensity by 38%, reduced our water usage by 35% and avoided over one million cubic yards of landfill disposal. We are still not satisfied. The goals announced today represent our further commitment to leave Michigan far better than we found it, because we live here, too," said Patti Poppe, president and CEO of Consumers Energy and CMS Energy.

The company also unveiled its 5-year environmental goals, which include saving 1 billion gallons of water, reducing waste to landfills by 35%, and restoring 5,000 acres of land in Michigan.

In 2016, Consumers Energy started veering away from coal by shutting down seven of its coal-fired generating plants in Michigan which resulted to a 38% decrease in carbon intensity from 2008 levels.