In partnership with Domino's Farms in Ann Arbor Township, Michigan, DTE Energy opened the state's largest solar array to date, a 1.1-MW facility at the farm. The property comprises more than 4,000 solar panels and is expected to generate enough electricity to power nearly 200 homes at any given time.
"DTE is the state's largest investor in solar and wind. The renewable projects we own or contract with represent $2 billion in renewable energy infrastructure," said David Harwood, DTE Energy's director of Renewable Energy. "The Domino's Farms solar array is part of a broader, long-term plan to move us to a cleaner, more diversified energy portfolio, with significant investments in natural gas and renewable energy."
Harwood noted the Domino's Farms project helped DTE Energy meet the state's requirement of electric utilities supplying 10% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015.
The project was launched by Harwood and Paul Roney, president of Domino’s Farms and Ann Arbor Township, two years ago. Roney said that the Domino's Farms solar installation has been a great partnership with DTE Energy, as well as with Ann Arbor Township which provided site plan approval and permitting.
"Although the energy generated is not going directly to the Domino's Farms Office Park, it represents one-quarter of our energy usage and that fits with other sustainability-type efforts we have undertaken from storm water management to energy-efficiency improvements in the building," noted Roney.
DTE Energy constructed the Domino's Farms and will operate and maintain the facility for 20 years. The construction is part of DTE Energy SolarCurrents, a pilot program launched in 2009. DTE Energy has installed 11 MW of solar energy across 23 sites in metro Detroit and in Michigan's "Thumb" area. The company also is constructing a 750kW array in Romulus and planning an 800kW installation in Ypsilanti. In addition, several other solar energy projects are in development.