Solar power is growing in West Michigan thanks to two solar gardens that began operating this year.

Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo became the second university in the state to partner with Consumers Energy on a solar garden power plant.

The 8.5-acre solar garden, which contains 4,000 solar panels, went online in September.

It will produce one megawatt of solar power, enough to power 200 homes.

Roger Morgenstern, senior public information director for Consumers Energy, said the WMU garden will supply a portion of power for the university.

The solar garden is Consumers’ second partnership with a West Michigan university.

In April, Consumers opened a 17-acre solar garden at Grand Valley State University in Allendale. It is the largest community solar project in Michigan.

The GVSU solar garden consists of 11,000 solar panels capable of producing three megawatts of power.

To learn more about the program, visit the Grand Rapids Business Journal's website, or pick up a copy of this week's paper.