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50,000 people have signed up for a utility-managed voluntary renewable energy initiative

MIGreenPower, a volunteer renewable energy program run by Michigan utility DTE Energy, has hit 50,000 subscribers, making it one of the country’s largest. Every week, about 500 new customers join the program, voluntarily agreeing to pay a charge to possess their electricity demand matched to a new sustainable power-producing site.

The program’s popularity has resulted in a surge in solar PV as well as wind energy throughout the state. Each of the last three years, enrollment in the MIGreenPower initiative has risen. Customers have already signed up for 1.8 million MWh, and DTE plans to grow renewable energy production by 40% by 2021.

DTE plans to use 15 percent renewable energy by 2021, which it claims will eliminate 293,000 passenger cars from the road. According to this assessment, the utility’s existing operations have a carbon footprint equivalent to nearly 1.6 million passenger automobiles, therefore the MIGreenPower program’s early performance is encouraging for those working to reduce climate-changing carbon emissions.

To accommodate the demand, several projects are in the works. Projects in rural portions of the state range from roughly 20MW, such as the landfill-capping facility in Washtenaw County, to about 100MW or bigger projects. MIGreenPower sells electricity to both residential and business users, as well as several industrial customers. DTE stated that by 2025, it intends to increase its renewable energy generation while investing about $3 billion in the renewable infrastructure.

In February, the corporation put out a request for bids (RFP) for 500MW of the solar PV or the wind energy facilities. To be linked with the MISO (Midcontinent Independent System Operator) grid, the projects must be prepared to start commercial operations by 2023. Bids are expected by April 29, 2022, with contracts expected to be executed this summer, according to the business.

According to the Michigan Public Service Council (MPSC), the state is anticipated to possess 3,554 MW of the operational renewable power by the close of the year 2022 in accordance with the renewable power standard. According to the MPSC, the following renewable energy projects are expected to come live this year:

 

o Fairbanks Wind Park – Delta County, 72.45 MW

 

o Meridian Wind Farm, Midland and Saginaw Counties – 224.9 MW

 

o Heartland Farms Wind Farm, Gratiot County – 200 MW

 

o Assembly Solar, Shiawassee County – 79 MW

 

o DTE Electric River Fork Solar (Calhoun County) – 49 MW

 

o River Fork Solar (Consumers Energy), Calhoun County – 100 MW

 

725MW of new utility-scale power would be generated as a result of these projects.

 

Michigan is ranked 26th in solar deployment by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), with 599.4MW reported via Q3 2021. In 2021 alone, over 400MW was installed in the state, indicating that it could be yet another market poised for substantial growth. There are around 185 solar businesses in the state, comprising 65 producers, 68 developers/installers, and 52 others that employ a total of 3,379 people.

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