Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Southfield-based Barton Malow gets contract with Consumers Energy

Michigan state law requires energy companies to derive 10 percent of their energy from renewable resources. That goal has to be met by 2015, and public utility giant Consumers Energy, which provides electricity and natural gas to more than half of Michigan's residents, has now contracted with Barton Malow Company to meet that goal.

Consumers Energy's agreement with the Southfield-based company means that Barton Malow will handle the engineering and construction of the planned Cross Winds Energy Park, which will be the second wind farm for Consumers Energy. The building of the park is expected to generate 150 construction jobs.

Major business agreements with public companies require careful planning, and this particular project is still awaiting approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission and the townships of Columbia and Akron.

A praiseworthy aspect of the deal is that Consumers Energy has contracted with a Michigan-based company. More jobs for Michigan residents and clean energy for homes and businesses throughout the state are welcome advancements. According to one economic study, the construction of the farm is expected to produce $160.2 million in indirect and direct output.

A spokesperson for Consumers Energy said that the wind farm could be in operation by the end of next year, and the farm is predicted to be a "major power source."

With large projects such as this one, a wide range of business law issues have to be covered. To avoid possible contract disputes and other risks, Michigan companies will want to be sure that they exercise due diligence.

Source: milive.com, "Consumers Energy signs contract with Michigan-based company for wind farm," Jon Szerlag, Sept. 11, 2013

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