If you drive I-94 near Battle Creek regularly, you have probably noticed a big change in front of the FireKeepers Casino Hotel. The solar array that provided some of the power to the resort is gone, rendered obsolete by technological advances. However, they still had a commitment to protect the environment.

How could they combine their commitments with a cost-effective way to power the entire casino with renewable energy? By signing up for the Renewable Energy Program through Consumers Energy, of course.

“We continue to have a focus on protecting the earth,” said FireKeepers Casino Hotel CEO Frank Tecumseh at a recent event. “I can’t tell you the number of comments we’ve had from guests about the panels because they appreciate our green initiatives. While we’re sad to see the panels go, we’re excited to partner with Consumers Energy to produce even bigger results.”

Those anticipated results are huge. While the recently removed panels were able to supply some of the power to the casino and hotel, the complex will be able to supply all their power needs from renewable sources with the Renewable Energy Program. This will result in a reduction of 273,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 20 years. To put that in more relatable terms, that’s the same as reducing Michigan greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 60,700 gas-powered cars off the road or recycling 13,500 garbage trucks of waste instead of it going to a landfill.

Partnerships like this are unprecedented for tribal-owned casinos in Michigan. In fact, with this agreement, FireKeepers will be the first tribal-owned casino to source 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources in Michigan.

According to Eric Clinton, Consumers Energy’s director of renewable products, this commitment benefits more than just the casino. It helps all Michiganders by accelerating the company’s Clean Energy Plan.

“This commitment (by FireKeepers) is meaningful in many ways. It accelerates our own clean energy journey, allowing us to retire our coal-fired facilities in the next two years and run a carbon neutral energy grid by 2040,” said Clinton.

Consumers Energy’s Renewable Energy Program provides a local, cost-effective, flexible, turnkey solution for businesses to use solar and wind energy to achieve their sustainability goals and protect the planet for future generations. Their enrollment not only advances greening Michigan’s grid, but also supports Michigan jobs created through building and operating renewable energy projects. Learn more by contacting GreenPower@cmsenergy.com.