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Consumers Energy moves forward on power plant plan

THETFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Consumers Energy is taking steps toward its planned 700-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant in Michigan's Genesee County.

The Jackson-based utility filed Friday for approval of a certificate of necessity with the Michigan Public Service Commission. The filing is allowed under the state's energy reform law.

Chief Executive Officer John Russell says the filing establishes the plant "is in the best long-term interests of Michigan."

The $750 million project will be on Consumers Energy-owned land in Thetford Township, about 20 miles northeast of Flint. Russell has said development of the plant is consistent with a plan to meet the needs of the utility's customers during the next 20 years.

The plant would be operational in 2017 and serve a community of about 445,000 people.

The review process will take nine months.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.