U-M, DTE Begin Solar Energy Installation on North Campus

Dave Reid, OVPGC
Release Date: 

Ground was broken this week for a new solar energy installation at the North Campus Research Complex. The partnership between U-M and DTE Energy is part of DTE Energy's SolarCurrents program and will result in a ground-mounted solar array capable of producing up to 430 kilowatts.

The utility-owned solar energy program involves DTE building, owning and operating the installation and U-M receiving an annual payment. The energy produced by the panels will be fed into the electric grid.

The solar installation is expected to produce enough energy to power about 100 homes. DTE Energy expects to have 15 megawatts of power come via the utility-owned SolarCurrents program by 2015.

Signage around the solar installation will identify the partnership between DTE Energy's SolarCurrents program and Planet Blue, U-M's strategic initiative for sustainability.

This marks the second time U-M and DTE Energy have partnered on an alternative-energy project. In March 2010, the university announced it was purchasing renewable energy credits from DTE Energy's Green Currents program for wind energy from two wind turbines located in northern Michigan.

Other alternative-energy initiatives on the Ann Arbor campus include a solar array on the roof of the Dana Building, a solar water heater on the roof of the Central Power Plant, and the university's first geothermal project, which is part of the new golf practice facility.