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Michigan-based Consumers Energy, its contractors, Tuscola County-area landowners and local government officials held a ground-breaking event Friday to officially start construction of the utility's 105 MW Cross Winds Energy Park.

Consumers Energy expects Cross Winds to open in late 2014, fulfilling Michigan's requirement that energy providers generate 10% of their power from renewable sources. The company says about 150 construction jobs will be created now and into next year. Southfield-based Barton Malow Co. is the lead contractor, with several Michigan-based subcontractors and parts suppliers also participating in the project.

Initial work will focus on building access drives and turbine foundations and will continue in coming months, weather permitting. Construction of the facility's 62 GE 1.7 MW wind turbines is slated to begin next summer.



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