Natural gas plant part of Consumers Energy's Balanced Energy Initiative

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Consumers Energy is investing $750 million to build a 700 MW natural gas fired power plant.

The planned plant is part of the company's Balanced Energy Initiative -- a comprehensive plan to meet the energy needs of Consumers Energy's customers over the next 20 years.

"This proposed plant will use state-of-the-art technology to help meet the future needs of our 1.8 million electric customers in an environmentally responsible manner," John Russell, president and CEO of Consumers Energy. "Vast new supplies of natural gas have reduced prices and they are expected to stay low for the long term. We selected natural gas as the fuel source for this new power plant because we project it will be the most economical way to serve our customers in the future and continue to bring them value."

The $750 million investment is in addition to the $6.5 billion the company plans to invest in its utility operations through 2017.

Construction of the new plant is expected to begin in 2015. The new combined cycle power plant should begin providing power in 2017.

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