What is the Low-Income Solar Pilot?
A significant part of DTE Energy’s clean energy journey includes developing one of the largest urban renewable energy facilities in the Midwest, investing in community solar projects and increasing access to our voluntary renewable energy products. As part of our clean energy equity efforts, we are not only developing renewable energy projects in traditionally underserved communities, we are also ensuring that these resources are affordable for the customers we serve.
To improve access to community solar projects and renewable energy, DTE is excited to introduce a Low-Income Solar Pilot, focused on helping low-income customers and underserved communities participate in the benefits of renewable energy. DTE will develop, own and operate three solar arrays, constructed in Detroit, River Rouge and Highland Park. Selected low-income residents for each of the projects will receive 100% renewable energy for their home as well as an associated bill credit, which will lower their monthly bill. To further drive bill savings, two of the projects will also include energy efficiency initiatives for selected participants.
A Low-Income Solar Council will be established and will include one representative from DTE, a non-profit organization, a subject matter expert (SME), the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) staff, and one project participant from each location. The council will be responsible for interfacing with the three pilot cities, soliciting proposed project locations and formats, setting criteria, and reviewing and ranking projects. DTE will partner with the council to identify funds and will approve the projects they recommend.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How will the Low-Income Solar Pilot be funded?
A: DTE will provide 30% of the funding for the pilot, up to $300,000 for each solar project. These funds will be allocated to engineering, procurement and construction. The remaining funding will come from third party contributions.
Q: Where will the solar arrays be located?
A: The solar arrays will be located in Detroit, River Rouge and Highland Park. Specific locations for the projects have not yet been determined.
Q: When will the solar projects be operational?
A: The three projects are expected to be operational in 2022, 2023, and 2024, respectively.
Q: How will customers be selected?
A: DTE and the Low-Income Solar Council will work together to determine the methodology for selecting individuals to participate in the pilot.
Q: How many customers will participate in the pilot?
A: The appropriate methodology to determine how many low-income individuals may participate in each project will be decided by DTE and the Low-Income Solar Council. The number of individuals that can participate from each community is dependent on the size of the community solar array.
Q: How much will selected pilot participants receive in bill credits?
A: Bill credits for the selected residents will be based on DTE’s approved voluntary green pricing tariff (Riders 17 and 19) and are estimated to be between $25-30 each month.
Q: Will council members be paid?
A: All project participant representatives will be compensated for their time. The remaining council members will not be compensated through the pilot funding.
Q: How often will the council meet?
A: The Low-Income Solar Council will meet at least once a month and may meet as often as the members decide is needed. Meeting minutes will be posted publicly on this site.
Meet the Members of the Low-Income Solar Council
Council members have not yet been selected. This section will be updated once members are selected.
Low-Income Solar Council Meeting Minutes
You can review the latest meeting minutes from the Low-Income Solar Council here.
Contribute to the Low-Income Solar Pilot
Interested in contributing, or just want to learn more? Fill out this form and someone on our team will get back with you shortly.
Check back to see some of the amazing people who have partnered with us on this project.