Detroit-based DTE Energy today announced its Polaris Wind park in Gratiot County (north of Lansing) is operational and provides enough clean energy to power more than 64,000 homes. It has 68 turbines that generate 168 megawatts and is the first of four new wind parks the company plans to commission this year.
DTE says the addition is the largest operating wind park in the state. It is expected to offset more than 355,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, the greenhouse gas equivalent of taking more than 76,000 cars off the road for a year (based on Egrid 2017 non-baseload emissions factors by subregion and the Environmental Protection Agency) and represents a step toward the company’s goal of reducing its carbon emission by 50 percent by 2030.
“DTE is leading Michigan’s clean energy transformation,” says Trevor F. Lauer, president and COO of DTE Electric. “Bringing projects like Polaris Wind online provide tremendous benefits for our customers, the environment, and the state of Michigan. We are committed to continued growth of our renewable energy portfolio, including wind and solar, as we work to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
Since 2009, DTE says it has driven investments of $3 billion in renewable energy infrastructure, and the company plans to invest an additional $2 billion in wind and solar assets over the next five years.
The wind projects provide income for landowners who have turbines on their property, jobs to maintain and install the turbines, and tax revenue that can be used to support improvements to roads, schools, emergency services, and more. Greater Gratiot Development Inc. reported that from 2012-2018, the county received nearly $43 million in tax revenue from its wind parks.
“Wind development has unquestionably brought increased economic prosperity to Gratiot County,” says Jim Wheeler, president of the development. “In addition to tax revenue that benefits the county, townships, and schools, investment from wind development was used to leverage a grant for infrastructure in the Breckenridge Industrial Park, which now houses five companies and over 100 jobs.
“The area economy also benefits from increased consumer spending at restaurants and retail shops by temporary construction workers and permanent maintenance technicians, in addition to increased spending from local landowners who receive lease payments. Overall, wind development has offered Gratiot County a renewed drive toward the future with new opportunities for its citizens.”
Including Polaris, DTE has more than 1,300 megawatts worth of renewable energy sources online. The company plans to add another 800 megawatts by the end of 2022. DTE’s renewable energy portfolio includes 15 wind parks and 31 solar arrays, all located in Michigan.
DTE Electric customers interested in reducing their carbon footprints and supporting the development of additional Michigan-made renewable energy can do so through DTE’s MIGreenPower program by clicking here or calling (855) 613-4445. Thousands of Michigan residential customers as well as companies including General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. have enrolled in the program.
DTE’s electric company serves 2.2 million customers in southeast Michigan, and its natural gas company serves 1.3 million customers across the state. The company’s portfolio includes energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects; renewable natural gas; natural gas pipelines; gathering and storage; and energy marketing and trading.
The company plans to reduce carbon dioxide and methane emissions by more than 80 percent by 2040 to produce cleaner energy while working to keep it safe, reliable, and affordable. It hopes to achieve net zero carbon by 2050.