What is the MIGreenPower Community Impact Pilot?
DTE Energy is committed to doing its part to address climate change and is working with stakeholders to help decarbonize our state’s economy. With a goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, DTE is focused on bringing significantly more clean energy onto the grid, investing in universal scale wind and solar projects that are creating a cleaner Michigan for all Michiganders. We also offer several options for customers who want to play a more direct role in the state’s clean energy transformation. This includes offering enrollment in one of our popular voluntary renewable energy programs, assisting customers who want to install private generation systems to connect safely to the grid, and exploring pilot programs with communities and municipalities who want to work with us on a more customized solution.
As a result of conversations with community stakeholder groups, we have now embarked on an ambitious pilot to bring community solar projects to three underserved communities in our service territory: Detroit, Highland Park and River Rouge. The goal of the pilot is to help income-qualified customers and communities participate in the benefits of renewable energy. Income-qualified is defined as persons who are at or below 200% of the federal poverty level and must be a resident living in the pilot community. Selected income-qualified residents for each of the projects will be subscribed to 100% renewable energy for their place of living and will also receive an associated bill credit, which will lower their monthly bill. To further enable bill savings, two of the projects will include energy efficiency initiatives for selected participants.
Driving the pilot is the Low-Income Solar Council (Solar Council), which includes one representative from DTE; Vote Solar, a non-profit organization; Guidehouse, a subject matter expert (SME); a staff member from the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC); and one income-qualified representative (community representative) from each of the three communities. The Solar Council will oversee the success of the pilot and will be responsible for identifying, reviewing and recommending potential projects as well as other pilot specifics including community outreach, fundraising and project prioritization. DTE will partner with the Solar Council to identify funds and will approve, develop and operate the projects recommended by the Solar Council.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How will the MIGreenPower Community Impact 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: Operational timelines will vary based on funding and site selection.
Q: How will customers be selected?
A: DTE and the 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 income-qualified individuals may participate in each project will be decided by DTE and the 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 and are estimated to be approximately $35 each month.
Q: Will council members be paid?
A: All community 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 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.
Q: How long will the pilot last?
A: During 2023 and 2024, DTE Electric will analyze the data and will file a case with the MPSC no later than the first quarter of 2025 in which DTE Electric will propose either termination of the pilot, commencement of an income-qualified solar program or continuation of the pilot on different terms.
Meet the Members of the Solar Council
Solar Council Members
DTE Representative: Lindsay Wold
MPSC Representative: Cody Matthews
Non-Profit Representative: Will Kenworthy, Vote Solar
Kelsey Tremberth, DTE Energy
The Solar Council is in the process of identifying potential parcels of land to build a solar array in each community. Please reach out to us at MIGPCommunity@dteenergy.com with questions or if you or someone you know would prefer a PDF or printed version of either form below.
Selection criteria includes:
- Acreage: 1.25-7 acres (250KW-1MW)
- Buildability: environment, topography, land use, shading; land is contiguous
- Proximity to distribution lines; systems can be electrically connected
- Community support including governing municipality; compliance with applicable local ordinance(s)
- Property control: land owner is willing to sell land to DTE or enter into a lease or easement on terms mutually agreeable
Community Input Form: The purpose of the Community Input Form is to gather community input on potential siting locations.
Audience: General public (specifically residents from Detroit, River Rouge, and Highland Park)
Request for Information (RFI): The purpose of the RFI is to gather community input on potential siting locations that meet all minimum requirements. Feasible locations will be collated and distributed for further community feedback prior to the release of a future Request for Proposal (RFP).
Audience: Landowners and Developers
The purpose of these meetings is to engage with community partners in spreading awareness of pilot progress and initiatives.
Community Partner Discussion – August 4, 2022
View the meeting presentation here.
Watch the entire meeting here.
Community Lunch and Learn – December 6, 2021
Watch the meeting here.
Community Partner Discussion – November 30, 2021
View the meeting presentation here.
Watch the entire meeting here.
Contribute to the MIGreenPower Community Impact 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.
Download a one-page PDF with information on the project here.
Check back to see some of the amazing people who have partnered with us on this project.
Solar Council Meeting Minutes
Review the latest meeting minutes from the Solar Council below.