PAW PAW, Mich. (WOOD) — Consumers Energy is scrapping its proposed route for a new high-voltage distribution line that faced pushback from neighbors in Van Buren County.

Consumers said in a release that it would seek a new route for the 20-mile line, which it said it needs to improve reliability.

“Consumers Energy strives to be a strong partner with the communities we serve. We heard from a number of concerned community leaders and are listening. We will come up with an alternative route that works better for the region,” Greg Salisbury, Consumers Energy’s vice president of electric engineering, said in a statement. “Our mission remains to find a prudent route to build this line in order to serve the future growth of Van Buren county as new residents, businesses, schools, libraries, and others choose to call southwest Michigan home. But as we listen to and work with the community, we will come up with a solution that minimizes the impact to the area while delivering reliable energy.”

Residents had objected to the initial route, which cut through residential properties and farms and removed trees within 80 feet. In March, the Paw Paw Township board approved a resolution opposing the plan. Residents said Consumers had failed to clearly communicate what was happening.

“Community members provided valuable feedback,” Consumers’ statement said.

It announced April 5 it was pausing the project.

The Jackson-based utility provider says it will be in contact with the community as its new route is designed. Comments or questions can be directed to or by calling 800.647.8101.