DTE, Invenergy break ground for wind farm in Gratiot County

The wind farm, expected to become operational in the first quarter 2012 and employ 14 full-time workers, is under construction by Livonia-based Aristeo Construction. About 200 skilled construction workers are part of the wind energy project. Gratiot will be a 133 wind turbines, 212.8-megawatt (MW) wind power project that will generate enough clean, renewable energy to power more than 50,000 Michigan homes.

Invenergy, DTE break ground on 212.8MW Gratiot wind farm in Michigan
Invenergy Wind LLC (Invenergy) and DTE Energy welcomed more than 150 invited guests, including local, state and federal officials, and business and community leaders, at the official groundbreaking ceremony for the Gratiot County Wind Power (Gratiot).

Once operational, Gratiot will be a 133 wind turbines, 212.8-megawatt (MW) wind power project that will generate enough clean, renewable energy to power more than 50,000 Michigan homes. DTE Energy will own and operate nearly half of the wind farm and purchase the remaining power from Invenergy under a 20-year power purchase agreement. The wind project will help DTE Energy meet Michigan’s renewable energy goals.

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"Invenergy is pleased that Gratiot County Wind will produce homegrown energy in Michigan, and contribute significantly to the economic growth of our host community," said Michael Polsky, president and chief executive officer of Chicago-based Invenergy. "We greatly appreciate the support for the project by citizens, area business and community leaders, and local, state, and federal officials. Invenergy looks forward to a successful future in Gratiot County."

"We’re excited about partnering with Invenergy to create Michigan’s largest wind farm," said Steve Kurmas, Detroit Edison president and chief operating officer. "DTE Energy is making nearly $2 billion in renewable energy investments in the state to help meet our future energy needs, which also creates jobs and spurs economic development."

"This wind project is part of our vision for a brighter economic future for our local area, and a greener future as well," said Don Schurr, president of Greater Gratiot Development. "We welcome the Gratiot County Wind Project and appreciate the investment in our community by Invenergy and DTE Energy."

Located on approximately 30,000 acres of private land near the town of Breckenridge in the townships of Wheeler, Bethany, Emerson, and Lafayette, the wind project:

• Is employing approximately 200 skilled construction workers.

• Will employ 14 full-time workers to operate and maintain the facility.

• Will contribute to the area’s economic development through property tax payments, which can be used for schools, fire and police protection, road repair, and other improvements.

• Will support the local economy through yearly lease payments to more than 240 landowners.

• Will commence commercial operations in the first quarter of 2012.

• Will feature 133 1.6 MW GE wind turbines.

• Will interconnect into an existing 138-kilovolt transmission line owned by International Transmission Company.

• Will help the state’s utilities meet Michigan’s renewable energy goals.

• Upon completion, 69 of the turbines will be owned by Gratiot Wind LLC (an affiliate of Invenergy), with 64 turbines will be owned by DTE Energy.

• Is being constructed by Livonia, Mich.-based Aristeo Construction. Long associated with its work in the auto industry, Aristeo began 10 years ago to diversify its focus by attracting non-automotive, industrial power generation clients. The Gratiot County project is Aristeo’s first wind project in its home state.

Invenergy and its affiliated companies develop, own and operate large-scale renewable and other clean energy generation facilities in North America and Europe. Invenergy is committed to clean power alternatives and continued innovation in electricity generation. Invenergy’s home office is located in Chicago and it has regional development offices throughout the United States and in Canada and Europe.

The nation’s largest independent wind power generation company, Invenergy and its affiliated companies currently have over 6,600 MW of wind energy, solar power, and thermal projects under contract, in construction, or in operation.