"This is a great opportunity to bring more renewable energy to our service area, and also a way to grow the renewable energy industry in Michigan," said Trevor Lauer, DTE Energy vice president, Marketing & Renewables. "These wind farms will add to the employment base, the tax base and provide many other economic development opportunities. Statistics show that nearly five jobs are created for every megawatt of installed wind capacity."
DTE Energy has acquired easements on 80,000 acres in Huron County, as well as completed wind and wildlife studies at the three wind farm sites. The company is reviewing bids from wind turbines, and it is expected that approximately 50 wind turbines will be needed to generate the power at the wind farms.
Total investment is expected to be about $225 million. Besides selecting a turbine manufacturer, DTE Energy also will seek a construction company and begin the permitting process that will lead to construction next year.
"The comprehensive energy legislation passed in 2008 has made these wind farms possible, and shows what can be accomplished when we all work toward making Michigan a better place to live and work," Lauer said. "We’re looking forward to many more similar renewable energy projects."
The wind farm development is part of DTE Energy’s plan to meet Michigan’s renewable energy goals. DTE Energy expects to add about 1,200 MW of renewable power, or about 10 percent of its power 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.
DTE Energy expects the majority of its renewable energy to come from wind resources, but it also has two solar energy pilot programs that could produce approximately 20 MW. The utility’s renewable energy capacity under contract is nearly 4 percent of total generation.