Consumers Energy launched an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) near a Jackson County electric substation to help determine whether the emerging technology can improve how the company serves Michigan residents. Consumers Energy is the fourth energy company in the U.S. and the first in Michigan, to receive approval for UAV use from the Federal Aviation Administration. The UAV is being evaluated on its performance at inspecting wind turbines and above-ground utility equipment such as poles and transformers.
Consumers Energy selected Accenture to deploy new mobile workforce management (MWFM) software from Ventyx, an ABB company, to help field workers improve safety, productivity and customer experience. Accenture will implement the latest release of Service Suite with optimized, automated dispatching, for schedulers, dispatchers, field crews and supervisors. This will replace Consumers Energy's legacy mobile workforce management system.
Constellation and EdF transfer nuclear licenses to Exelon for $400 million; NRG closes $244 million acquisition of Gregory cogen plant in Texas; Vivint Solar secures $200 million for rooftop solar leases; Virginia Power floats $585 million in bonds; Southern Company issues $700 million; plus equity deals totaling $844 million and debt issues totaling $3.635 billion.
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Consumers Energy signed a contract with Barton Malow Company for engineering, procurement and construction services at its $255 million Cross Winds Energy Park, a 105-MW wind farm in Tuscola County, Michigan. The contract is subject to approval by the Michigan Public Service Commission. The contract includes designing, engineering and constructing the park's turbine foundations, access roads, an operations and maintenance building; erecting the park's 62 wind turbines; and building the infrastructure that connects the turbines to the electrical grid.
Consumers Energy filed for approval of a certificate of necessity with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) for its new natural gas plant in Genesee County. The certificate of necessity filing, allowed for under Michigan's energy reform law, provides Consumers Energy's comprehensive analysis for the 700-MW natural gas plant planned for Thetford Township, about 20 miles northeast of Flint. The review process for the filing is expected to take nine months.