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      Solar energy to power winery

      Consumers Energy has selected 22 new projects for businesses and homeowners in Michigan to produce solar energy.

      Consumers Energy has selected 22 new projects for businesses and homeowners in Michigan to produce solar energy.

      Bonobo winery in Grand Traverse County was selected as one of five non-residential projects in four counties and construction has begun. Customers were chosen as part of the company's, Experimental Advanced Renewable Program.

      Bonobo??s plan is to install solar panels on the top of car ports.

      The projects will provide about 171 kilowatts of electric capacity, and range in size from 2.5 to 20 kilowatts. For each kilowatt produced, Consumers Energy will pay the winery.

      "We??re extremely excited for one that it's helping the environment, with the way we're putting the winery together is actually very energy conscious and so this just furthers our efforts towards that," said co-owner, Todd Oosterhouse.

      The project is still in the preliminary design stages and is planned to start in 2015. Bonobo hopes to open by October.