Detroit-based real estate developer Bedrock has announced an agreement with Detroit’s DTE Energy to acquire about 22 million kilowatt hours of Michigan-made clean energy annually through DTE’s MIGreenPower voluntary renewable energy program.
“It is imperative for us to take the lead in modernizing our properties as we look to reduce our overall carbon footprint,” says John Guardiola, senior vice president of engineering and sustainability at Bedrock. “This partnership with DTE allows us to effectively expand our renewable energy strategy by providing access to new and sustainable energy sources.”
Beginning in 2023, the power will be attributed to DTE solar farms, offsetting an estimated 15,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of decreasing the number of passenger vehicles on the road each year by 3,375. The sources of the power are under development.
“As Michigan’s leading producer of renewable energy, we are committed to increasing generation from wind and solar, which reduces carbon emissions and helps combat climate change,” says Trevor Lauer, president of DTE’s electric company. “Enrolling in MIGreenPower accelerates the development of Michigan-made renewable energy, and we appreciate the strong support Bedrock and others have demonstrated by joining this program.”
Bedrock’s MIGreenPower commitment will enhance sustainability measures at the Book Tower renovation and the Hudson’s Site development, which is pursuing LEED certification. It also furthers the company’s mission of powering most of its downtown properties using clean energy. The developer previously gained approval of the Detroit chapter of the International 2030 District, a group aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of historical buildings by 50 percent and new construction by 100 percent over the next 10 years.
“Committing to a sustainable future is our moral imperative,” says Kofi Bonner, CEO of Bedrock. “Not only is it the right thing for us to do, but it represents an important opportunity for Bedrock to be a leader in sustainable efforts going forward. Our commitment to going green will not only reduce greenhouse gases regionally, but better support our local community, benefit our tenants, and will enhance our ability to attract quality tenants.”
In support of its goals, Bedrock installed solar panels and lighting arrays at 1500 and 1528 Woodward, which provide about 5,800 kilowatt hours of energy for each of these locations.
The company also adopted a smart building standard in 2017, requiring that its properties be integrated with a building management system to track the efficiency of its equipment including LED lighting, air filtration systems, temperature control, motorized blinds, and access to natural light.
DTE’s program enables customers to attribute up to 100 percent of their energy use to the company’s wind and solar projects. In three years, subscribers have supported nearly 100 million kilowatt hours of clean energy. The program has nearly 30,000 residential customers and 300 businesses including General Motors, Ford Motor Co., the University of Michigan, and the Detroit Zoo.
In related news, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, part of Trinity Health Michigan in Livonia, also announced its enrollment in DTE’s MIGreenPower program. It will purchase 10,000 megawatt hours (10 million kilowatt hours) of clean energy, offsetting greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to driving an average passenger car 17.8 million miles. The projects that will source this purchase are under development and will begin operating in 2023.
St. Joe’s participating hospitals are St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, and St. Mary Mercy Livonia.
“For our patients, employees, and communities, we know that reducing pollution is important to the health of both our bodies and our planet,” says Rob Casalou, president and CEO of Trinity. “We already have several measures in place to increase sustainability practices across our system. Enrolling in MIGreenPower helps us build on our own environmental targets and support a cleaner Michigan.”
DTE has 18 wind parks and 31 solar farms. Since 2009, it has driven investment of $3 billion in renewable energy infrastructure and will invest an additional $2 billion in wind and solar assets over the next three years. The company’s renewable energy projects have created or sustained more than 4,000 Michigan jobs and generate enough clean energy to power 670,000 homes.
Trinity Health Michigan has more than 20,000 full-time employees serving 23 counties through eight hospitals, including five in the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and three in the Mercy Health system.
DTE’s electric company serves 2.2 million customers in southeast Michigan, and its natural gas company serves 1.3 million customers in Michigan. The company plans to reduce carbon dioxide and methane emissions by more than 80 percent by 2040 and achieve net zero carbon and greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.