DTE Energy opens largest solar project in Michigan

In partnership with Domino’s Farms, DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) on Sept. 15 announced the opening of the state’s largest solar array to date, a 1.1-MW facility at Domino’s Farms in Ann Arbor Township, Michigan.     

The project comprises more than 4,000 panels. The project site, located north of M-14 and west of Earhart Road, generates enough electricity to power nearly 200 homes at any given time.

“The support from Domino’s Farms, Ann Arbor Township officials, and the broader business community, has been phenomenal,” said David Harwood, DTE Energy’s director of Renewable Energy. “DTE is the state’s largest investor in solar and wind. The renewable projects we own or contract with represent $2 billion in renewable energy infrastructure. The Domino’s Farms solar array is part of a broader, long-term plan to move us to a cleaner, more diversified energy portfolio, with significant investments in natural gas and renewable energy.”  

Harwood noted the Domino’s Farms project helped DTE Energy meet the state’s requirement of electric utilities supplying 10% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015.    

He was joined by Paul Roney, president of Domino’s Farms and Ann Arbor Township Treasurer Della DiPietro to celebrate the collaboration which began more than two years ago. Roney said: “Although the energy generated is not going directly to the Domino’s Farms Office Park, it represents one-quarter of our energy usage and that fits with other sustainability-type efforts we have undertaken from storm water management to energy-efficiency improvements in the building.” 

DTE Energy constructed the solar array and will operate and maintain the facility for 20 years. The Domino’s Farms project is part of DTE Energy SolarCurrents, a pilot program launched in 2009. DTE Energy has installed 11 MW of solar energy across 23 sites in metro Detroit and in Michigan’s “Thumb” area. The company also is constructing a 750-kW array in Romulus and planning an 800-kW installation in Ypsilanti. Several other solar energy projects are also in development. 

DTE Energy’s entire renewable energy portfolio including wind and biomass is now capable of generating nearly 1,000 MW of electricity. The portfolio includes facilities owned and operated by DTE Energy, along with contracts to purchase power from facilities owned and operated by third-party developers in Michigan.

DTE Energy is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include DTE Electric, an electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.