DTE Energy, the largest developer of solar energy projects in the state, has begun construction of an array in Romulus that will operate by the end of the year.
The new facility on Citrin Drive near I-94 and Middlebelt Road will comprise more than 2,700 solar panels on property owned by the Morton Terminal Land Holdings, LLC. The solar installation will have capacity to generate 750 kilowatts of electricity – enough to power 125 homes.
DTE Energy will construct, operate and maintain the solar array for 20 years.
"Solar is an important piece of DTE Energy's renewable portfolio that will help us provide cleaner, affordable energy to the customers we serve," said Irene Dimitry, DTE Energy's vice president of Business & Development.
Dimitry added that projects such as the Romulus facility have helped DTE Energy meet a state mandate requiring electric utilities to supply 10 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015.
The project is part of SolarCurrents, a pilot program launched in 2009. DTE Energy has installed nearly 10 megawatts of solar energy across 22 sites in Southeastern Michigan including projects at Ford Motor Co. headquarters in Dearborn and Monroe Community College in Monroe.
"DTE Energy continues to explore large-scale solar energy projects as a cost-effective way to add solar energy to Michigan's generation mix," said Dimitry, adding that a number of new solar energy projects are in development.
DTE Energy's entire renewable energy portfolio including wind and biomass is now capable of generating nearly 1,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 400,000 homes. 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.