Downtown Jackson
Jackson, Michigan (Credit: Phillip L. Hofmeister / Wikimedia)

A downtown area of Jackson, Michigan, is home to a historic public library and church. But soon it will also feature a modern office building and mixed-use residential and retail spaces.

For the state’s largest utility, this redevelopment project presents a unique opportunity …

Gruber: “… to innovate and to test out some of the world’s best solutions regarding clean energy.”

Paul Gruber of Consumers Energy says the area will become a “smart energy” district, and it may feature solutions such as solar canopies, electric vehicle charging stations, and advanced battery storage.

He says it’s an ideal place to test these technologies because some buildings are in the design stage, while others are over a century old and need more creative retrofits.

Gruber: “We will find some solutions that work right now, and we’ll find some that maybe require some more tinkering, but that can work in the near future.”

Over the next two decades, Consumers Energy plans to cut its carbon pollution by 90 percent state-wide. But it expects to meet that goal much earlier in the smart energy district. So lessons learned will lay down a path …

Gruber: “… towards providing clean energy solutions for all of our customers in Michigan.”

Reporting credit: Stephanie Manuzak/ChavoBart Digital Media.