Michigan is on track to a brighter, more sustainable energy future powered by clean and renewable energy, thanks to the efforts and innovations of our local energy providers.
Earth Day is a good time to reflect on the progress we are making as a state to reduce carbon emissions, increase use of renewable energy resources like universal wind and solar, and advance innovative new energy solutions that will help us reduce our environmental impact and achieve our net zero energy goals.
Increasing Access to Universal Renewables
Just this week, DTE Energy began operating three new universal wind parks. Two of these—Isabella I and Isabella II, located in Isabella County—are now Michigan’s largest wind parks, with a total of 136 turbines generating a capacity of 383 megawatts. The third, Fairbanks Wind in the Upper Peninsula’s Delta County, has 21 turbines capable of generating 72 megawatts.
These new projects are part of DTE energy’s MIGreenPower, a voluntary green pricing program that helps consumers increase their use of renewable energy. All three projects will help source renewable power for major Michigan companies and institutions, including Ford Motor Co., General Motors, and the University of Michigan.
More than 300 Michigan businesses and 28,000 residential consumers are enrolled in the program. Through the MIGreenPower program, the company will “match 60% of the energy use at its Detroit and Ann Arbor locations to DTE clean energy projects,” which is projected to offset emissions which is expected to avoid 613 tons of CO2.
DTE Energy’s announcement comes on the heels of Consumers Energy’s opening of two new wind parks earlier this year. The first—the Gratiot Farms Wind Project—went online in January. It includes 60 turbines spanning two Michigan townships that will produce enough clean energy to power roughly 58,000 residences. The second, Crescent Wind , a 25,000 acre wind farm in Hillsdale County, will generate enough power for roughly 64,000 homes.
Driving Electrification in the Auto Industry
Even as they work to connect more Michigan homes and businesses to clean, renewable energy, local energy providers are also taking electrification of the auto industry into the fast lane.
Consumers Energy recently announced plans to “ramp up the number of fast-charging electric vehicle (EV) stations across the Lower Peninsula in the coming years.” Increasing the number of charging stations in Michigan will help ensure drivers can travel longer distances while providing the infrastructure our state needs to encourage more widespread adoption and use of EVs. The effort is part of the company’s PowerMIDrive program, which provides rebates for different kinds of EV charging stations, and will deliver 200 fast-charging stations at 24 location (so far) by 2024.
The Michigan Public Service Commission recently approved the second phase of DTE Energy’s Charging Forward electric vehicle pilot program. That approval gives the local energy provider the green light to spend up to $10.3 million on the program, which focuses on fleet electrification. The second phase will run through 2025 and is “designed to prevent disruption from electrical vehicle adoption and fleet electrification expansion.”
Moving Forward, Together
Michigan has come a long way when it comes to advancing clean energy. We are now a leader in clean energy, largely due to efforts like these that are lowering carbon emissions and empowering consumers to take advantage of our growing mix of renewable energy resources.
To stay on the right path to a more sustainable energy future for all Michiganders, we must continue supporting policies that advance clean and renewable energy for everyone. That means taking a balanced approach that involves multiple sectors working together to power innovation, create local jobs, and drive investment across Michigan’s economy.
How do you feel about Michigan’s clean energy progress and the path that we are on? Share your thoughts by joining the conversation on Facebook.