DTE Energy today announced the completion of construction and the start of full commercial operation of the Thumb Wind Park in Huron and Sanilac counties.
The Thumb Wind Park is a 110-megawatt (MW) project featuring 69 1.6-megawatt GE wind turbines. It generates enough renewable energy to power approximately 25,000 homes in Michigan.
"This brings DTE Energy's total wind investment to more than 700 megawatts of company-owned or contracted projects and we're confident we'll meet the state's renewable energy goals by 2015," said Steve Kurmas , DTE Energy-Electric president and chief operating officer. "This is a great investment for us and the communities we serve in the two counties."
Operating on approximately 15,000 acres in Bloomfield, McKinley and Sigel townships in Huron County, and Minden and Delaware townships in Sanilac County, the wind project:
- Employed about 100 skilled construction workers.
- Employs 10 full-time workers to operate and maintain the facility.
- Contributes to the area's economic development through property tax payments.
- Supports the local economy through yearly royalty payments to participating landowners.
DTE Energy will build its next wind park in Huron County by the end of 2013, which will add another 110 MW to the company's renewable energy portfolio. The Echo Wind Park, primarily in Oliver and Chandler townships, will be sited on nearly 16,000 acres and host up to 70 wind turbines.
DTE Energy expects to add about 1,000 MW of renewable energy capacity, or about 10 percent of its energy sales, by 2015. The company plans to own facilities to supply up to half of that power and contract with third-party producers for the remainder. The majority of the company's renewable energy will come from wind resources, but it also has a solar energy pilot program that has a capacity of 22 MW.
DTE Energy's renewable energy projects already producing, or in the planning or construction stages, will account for more than 8 percent of the company's total generation.