DTE Energy recently celebrated the installation of the first of nearly 200,000 solar panels that will power our two new solar parks in Lapeer with a ribbon cutting ceremony and news conference.

The two solar parks will be capable of providing enough clean energy to power more than 9,000 homes. The projects will create 150 jobs during construction and five permanent positions once the installations are operational. They are expected to be completed by the end of this year.

“DTE is Michigan’s leading provider of and investor in solar energy, and the Lapeer solar projects further our commitment to continuing investments in clean energy. Through the development of renewable energy projects, like solar, we are helping build a more sustainable future for Michigan and providing affordable, reliable and clean energy to our customers,” said Irene Dimitry, vice president, Business Planning & Development.

The larger of the two projects, located off Interstate 69 between Michigan Highway 24 and Lake Nepessing Road, is one of the biggest utility-owned solar arrays east of the Mississippi River and more than 15 times larger than any other solar installation in Michigan. The second project, where the news conference was held, is located on Turrill Road between Michigan Highway 24 and Clark Road. All of the power generated by these facilities will be fed into the energy grid and distributed to those who need it.

“The city of Lapeer is honored to join DTE in celebrating this milestone,” said Lapeer Mayor William Sprague. “We are proud of Lapeer’s contribution to bringing more green energy to Michigan and to creating a cleaner environment for our community and for the state.”

DTE has three other solar projects currently under development in Ypsilanti, at the GM Warren Transmission plant and in Detroit. By the end of the year, the company will have 31 solar parks in operation capable of generating enough clean energy to power more than 14,000 homes.The addition of these five solar projects will position the company to exceed a state mandate requiring electric utilities to supply 10 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources every year from 2015 to 2029.