Michigan power producer, DTE Energy, announced that the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has provided conditional approval for its proposed purchase of three new Michigan wind farms, increasing the company’s renewable energy portfolio nearly 50%.
The new wind facilities will add 455 MW of renewables to DTE’s generation mix, enough to power 107,000 homes. The company says it will use at least two of the new wind projects to meet the renewable needs of its largest commercial and industrial customers. These include Ford, General Motors, and the University of Michigan, who have enrolled in MIGreenPower, DTE’s voluntary renewable program.
“Investing in renewable energy is a key part of our commitment to reduce carbon emissions by at least 80% by 2040,” said Jerry Norcia, president and CEO, DTE Energy. “Adding these new wind parks to our portfolio will help us meet the clean energy needs of our largest customers who have chosen MIGreenPower. ”
DTE will introduce a suite of voluntary renewable energy programs under the MIGreenPower umbrella designed to meet a wide range of customer interests. These will complement the company’s two existing programs, one for residential and small business customers and one for large commercial and industrial customers.
“We have aggressive plans to expand our voluntary renewable energy programs, enabling more customers to reduce their carbon footprint and meet personal or business sustainability goals,” said Norcia. “We are proud of the environmental and economic benefits these projects will bring to Michigan.”
Today’s MPSC decision clears the way for DTE to purchase Michigan’s largest wind parks, Isabella I & Isabella II, from Apex Clean Energy. The two projects, totaling 383 MW and located in mid-Michigan’s Isabella County, will be the largest clean energy projects in the state as well as the largest renewable energy projects in DTE’s portfolio when they begin commercial operation in 2020. Apex will start construction on the projects later this year.
Additionally, DTE will purchase Fairbanks Wind from Heritage Sustainable Energy, a Traverse City-based wind developer. The 72-MW project will be located in Delta County in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. While this facility was approved as part of DTE Energy’s renewable energy plan, it may alternatively be used to support additional sales under the company’s MIGreenPower program.
DTE’s renewable energy projects not only benefit the environment, they are helping drive Michigan’s economy. DTE has driven investment of more than $2.8 billion in renewable assets since 2009 and will invest an additional $2 billion over the next five years. DTE’s renewable energy projects have created or sustained more than 4,000 Michigan jobs while powering the equivalent of more than 500,000 homes with clean energy. At DTE’s newest wind park, Pine River, 90% of the labor during construction was completed by Michigan workers.