Michigan State University is taking another step toward advancing its goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 from 2010 baseline measurements. Through an agreement with Consumers Energy, the university will have support in eliminating 292,934 metric tons of carbon dioxide and achieving climate neutrality by 2050.
“This is another major milestone in pursuit of MSU’s commitment to achieve climate neutrality by 2050,” said Laura Young, MSU’s sustainability manager. “Every approach must be considered to reduce our carbon footprint — from the technology we use to leveraging our cutting-edge research and robust partnerships for greater impact. Opportunities like those presented by the Consumers Energy Renewable Energy Program only build on that momentum.”
As part of the Consumers Energy Renewable Energy Program, 15,000 MWh, or mega-watt hours, per year of the electricity MSU purchases will be generated from renewable energy sources like solar and wind power beginning in 2027. That represents about 30% of the current annual electricity purchases made from the T.B. Simon Power Plant. Greenhouse emissions are classified by scopes. Scope 1 greenhouse emissions are direct emissions from campus, such as from the central power plant and fleet vehicles. Scope 2 are indirect emissions that come from the generation of purchased electricity.
“Reducing the greenhouse gas footprint of electricity that MSU purchases reduces scope 2 emissions and is an important part of meeting the university’s sustainability goals,” said Sherri Jett, director of power and water with MSU’s Infrastructure Planning and Facilities. “This commitment to purchase renewable energy from Consumers Energy will effectively double the amount of renewable energy consumed on campus.”
This agreement helps MSU and Consumers Energy meet their goals and provides an example for other businesses.
“Consumers Energy is committed to Michigan’s clean energy future, and our Renewable Energy Program allows our neighbors to join us in protecting the planet,” said Lauren Snyder, Consumers Energy’s vice president of customer experience. “We’re excited to help Michigan State University to be a leader and accelerate new clean energy projects in our state.”
MSU’s 2030 sustainability goals are outlined on the university’s 2030 strategic plan website.