As temperatures continue to drop and we all huddle up in our homes to stay safe and warm this winter, keeping the power on is more important than ever. That’s why DTE’s renewable energy assets, particularly our wind turbines, are well-equipped to withstand the cold.
Here in Michigan, we’re accustomed to cold weather and plan for our infrastructure to operate in these conditions. For example, all DTE’s wind turbines are equipped with a Cold Weather Adaptation package, allowing our more than 500 turbines to operate safely and efficiently in temperatures as low as negative 30 degrees Celsius.
“Wind turbines can be designed and outfitted to operate in whatever weather conditions they’re expected to see, wherever they’re located,” said David Harwood, DTE Director of Renewable Energy.
This cold weather package includes heaters that help warm the hydraulic and lubrication oil systems as well as other critical components. The package, coupled with the regular maintenance we perform, helps ensure our fleet performs well in all types of weather.
“With respect to our turbine operations experience in cold weather over the last few years, the frigid temperatures are just a verification that the cold weather packages and the preparations that we have designed into our systems actually work very well,” said Harwood. “It gives us confidence that we’re on the right track.”
Our wind turbines also come equipped with other safety features, including a mechanism that shuts the turbines down if wind speeds exceed 50 mph. Additionally, we have employees who monitor the turbine operations around the clock, 365 days a year and experienced technicians stationed at two operations centers who can be dispatched if a turbine has faulted.
DTE’s wind fleet has a strong history of performing well in all weather conditions, including snow and cold. We’re even recognized in the top 10% across the industry for our wind turbine availability.
“We’ve been very happy with our wind investments,” said Harwood. “They’ve operated very well for us. The first one came online in 2012, and we’ve been adding projects online almost every year since.”
DTE is committed to continued growth of our renewable energy portfolio as part of our goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Our 50 plus wind and solar parks generate enough clean energy to power nearly 700,000 homes, and by 2025, we will invest another $3 billion in renewable energy infrastructure and double our generation from these resources. You can learn more about DTE’s renewable energy plans at dtecleanenergy.com.