Detroit-based DTE Energy is well on its way to reaching its goal of building a portfolio of 1,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable-energy capacity. The company announced it had passed the halfway point after securing the purchase of wind power from a planned 9,000-acre, 120-MW capacity plant.
The Tuscola Bay Wind plant will stretch across Tuscola, Bay and Saginaw counties and provide enough energy to power 30,000 homes. DTE signed a $485 million, 20-year contract to purchase all of the energy produced from the plant when it becomes operational late next year. Building the wind-power plant will add as many as 275 temporary jobs and 10 to 12 permanent jobs.
DTE’s 1,000-MW goal by the year 2015 is the equivalent of 10 percent of its power from renewable-energy sources. To achieve that goal, DTE plans to own plants that supply up to half of that power and contract with third-party producers like NextEra for the remainder. Wind power is expected to be the primary renewable resource DTE will focus on, but the company has also started a pilot solar program that can produce up to 20 MW.
DTE Energy is also working on building three new wind-power plants in Huron and Sanilac counties next year. General Electric will also provide the nearly 70 wind turbines to be sited at these new wind farms, which are expected to provide 110 MW of power.