DETROIT — DTE Energy is planning to scale up its voluntary renewable energy program because of growing demand from businesses and residents seeking to offset their electricity usage with clean energy sources.
The Detroit-based utility announced today that it’s issuing a request for proposals to add roughly 500 megawatts (MW) of wind, solar and battery storage to support its MIGreenPower program, which allows business and residential customers to pay a premium on their bills for renewable energy.
The program is currently supported by 35 industrial customers, 450 small businesses and nearly 50,000 residential ratepayers, and has doubled in size in each of the past three years, according to the utility. DTE officials say demand for the program is pushing the utility beyond the 15 percent renewable energy threshold mandated under state law.
“We want to thank all of our MIGreenPower customers for their participation in the program,” Trevor Lauer, president and chief operating officer of DTE Electric Co., said in a statement. “Over the next decade, we plan to continue adding clean energy projects and investing in new technologies to move our state closer to a carbon neutral future.”
The RFP seeks plans for new wind and solar projects, which could also include battery storage components. The projects must be based in Michigan and ready for commercial operation in 2023. DTE plans to start executing contracts this summer.
DTE’s plans come as the Whitmer administration continues work on a statewide climate change plan. The current draft plan calls for Michigan to be carbon neutral by 2050. RTO Insider reported that state officials are delaying the release of a final plan by a month following an “overwhelming” amount of public input so far.