DTE Energy Acquires Huron County Wind Park to Meet Mandate

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DTE Energy has purchased one of two Pheasant Run wind parks in Huron County from a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy Resources — the largest generator of wind and solar power in North America — as part of its efforts to expand the company’s renewable energy resources.

With the acquisition of the 75-megawatt wind park — which features 44 wind turbines that produce enough energy to power 35,000 homes — Pheasant Run will be renamed the Brookfield Wind Park. The park will shut down for up to two weeks during the ownership transition to covert the communication infrastructure.

The NextEra Energy Resources subsidiary will continue to own and operate the second Pheasant Run wind park, from which DTE will purchase energy.

By 2015, DTE Energy will have nearly 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy assets, equivalent to 10 percent of its power sales. The utility company plans to own facilities that produce up to half of that 10 percent, while contracting with third-party producers for the rest.

The state mandate was instituted in 2008 under the Granholm administration with the promise that it would create up to 17,000 jobs, but the jobs have yet to materialize. In 2011, the number of jobs in the “power and communications systems construction” stood at 3,728 jobs, down 14 percent from 2008.

In 2012, Michigan voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have ordered utilities to generate 25 percent of their power from other sources besides coal, natural gas, or other fossil fuels by 2025.

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