Detroit-based utility DTE Energy has announced MIGreenPower, a new program that will allow customers to buy power from Michigan wind and solar farms starting in April.
“Until now, customers who wanted to use more renewable energy were limited to installing their own solar panels or other renewable equipment at their homes or businesses – which requires a significant initial investment,” explains Irene Dimitry, vice president of business planning and development at DTE Energy. “We also know that customers who rent apartments or live in condos may be unable to make any alterations to the exterior structure of the homes they live in. MIGreenPower is designed to address customer demand for a more flexible and affordable alternative.”
Energy for the program will be sourced from local DTE projects, including the Pinnebog Wind Project in Huron County and three solar arrays located in Detroit and Lapeer. By subscribing to MIGreenPower, customers can elect to increase the amount of renewable energy they use in 5% increments, up to 100%.
Participation in the program is voluntary and open to all of DTE’s 2.2 million full service business and residential electric customers. According to the utility, customers who want to participate in MIGreenPower will see a slight increase in their monthly bill depending on the level of renewable energy they select. For example, DTE Energy says, a typical residential customer who subscribes to an additional 25% of renewable energy might see a net increase of as little as $5 per month to their bill while knowing they are helping to support Michigan’s clean energy future.
The utility notes Selfridge Air National Guard Base, located in southeast Michigan, has already expressed interest in being one of the program’s early adopters.
“We are looking carefully at this program,” comments Brigadier General John Slocum, the base commander. “We think it can provide us with a means to meet our sustainability goals efficiently and economically. We are excited to know that DTE is bringing this type of opportunity to its customers in Michigan.”
DTE is among Michigan’s largest investors in renewable energy, including wind and solar, having driven investments of more than $2 billion in renewable energy since 2008. In 2016, more than 10% of the energy provided by DTE was generated from a renewable source in Michigan – enough clean generation to power nearly 450,000 homes. Today, DTE’s renewable energy portfolio includes 13 wind parks and 28 solar arrays in Michigan.
Photo courtesy of DTE Energy