Detroit Edison seeks large solar projects

Detroit Edison issued a request for proposals (RFP) to purchase one or more large solar photovoltaic installations as part of its utility-owned SolarCurrents program.

The utility on Sept. 28 said it is seeking photovoltaic installations that can range in size from 500 kW to 2 MW. Detroit Edison is the Michigan-based utility unit of DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE).

DTE Energy’s company-owned SolarCurrents pilot program calls for generating 15 MW of photovoltaic electricity throughout Southeast Michigan by 2015 as part of the company’s plan to meet Michigan’s renewable energy goals.

Michigan is requiring utilities to acquire 10% of their generation from renewable resources by 2015. A ballot initiative to be considered by voters next month, which DTE, other utilities and some businesses oppose, would require that to jump to 25% by 2025.

Detroit Edison already owns and operates a number of large solar installations, including projects at Monroe County Community College, General Motors‘ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant, Ford Motor Co.’s Wayne Assembly Plant and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s downtown Detroit parking garage. The company also has several projects on DTE Energy property.

The RFP will be conducted in two steps. The first will identify potential sites and the second will seek design and pricing information for the most desirable sites. Solar installations proposed in response to the RFP must be in Detroit Edison’s service area, and that the current owners of the related property be full-service bundled electric customers. Preference will be given for projects in Detroit.

Those interested can request access to the RFP at the PowerAdvocate bid platform, It is Event #33063. Bids will be received until Dec. 21.