Distributed Energy Resources

Utilities enter first credit facilities tied to renewable energy

Michigan-based CMS Energy and its and its primary subsidiary, Consumers Energy, have entered what they said is the first syndicated sustainability-linked revolving credit facilities for a U.S. borrower.

The aggregate $1.4 billion of new credit facilities allow investor-owned CMS and Consumers to reduce their interest rate by meeting targets related to environmental sustainability, specifically renewable energy generation.

In a related Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the companies said that on June 5 they amended and restated revolving credit facilities with a consortium of banks.

CMS Energy amended and restated its $550 million revolving credit facility. The Consumers Energy revolving credit facility was increased from $650 million to $850 million.

In February, Consumers Energy and CMS Energy unveiled Consumers Energy's plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent and no longer using coal to generate electricity by 2040. In addition, more than 40 percent of the energy produced will come from renewable sources and energy storage by 2040, they said.

More recently, Consumers Energy and another Michigan-based investor-owned utility, DTE Energy, in May said they were accelerating plans to produce cleaner energy in Michigan, targeting at least a 50 percent Clean Energy Goal by 2030, which will be achieved through a combination of investments in at least 25 percent renewable energy, and the remaining through energy efficiency.