Osprey Nesting, Electric Reliability Improved in Big Rapids Consumers Energy Upgrading System while Encouraging Raptors to Safely Nest Away from Power Lines
Consumers Energy is upgrading both the local electric distribution system and osprey housing conditions with work underway near Big Rapids.
Last weekend, crews installed a 65-foot utility pole donated by the company, complete with an osprey nesting platform constructed by Cub Scouts. The Scouts from mid-Michigan, including nephews of a Consumers Energy employee working on the project, constructed several platforms to be used around the state. Several of the Scouts were on site Saturday for the installation.
"At Consumers Energy, we like to say we're leaving it better than we found it,' " said Mary Palkovich, vice president of energy delivery. "This project is a perfect example on several fronts: We're upgrading our customer's electric reliability in a growing area while enhancing nesting habitat for ospreys. I'm also proud of our volunteer involvement with the Cub Scouts to make this all possible."
The Scouts made the 3-feet square cedar platform plus a perch for Ospreys which have nested on a pole that supported electric lines in the Big Rapids area. The new platform is about 100 feet away from the current location on Michigan Department of Transportation right-of-way near M-20 east of Big Rapids. Consumers Energy also worked with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources on determining the platform's location.
After the installation, crews removed some of the nesting material from the previous nest and placed it on the platform to make the new site more attractive to the ospreys. Vertical boards Scouts installed on the platform floor are designed to help the birds weave material into their nest. Ospreys typically return to Michigan in early April, after spending the winter in South America.
The new osprey platform is associated with a $550,000 reliability project to upgrade two miles of electric lines to meet the growing energy needs of the Big Rapids area. Work includes new utility poles, wiring and related equipment.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
For more information:
1 Energy Plz
United States, 49201
Roger Morgenstern, Media Contact
Tel: (517) 374-2159