What started out as an exploration for onsite solar led Port Huron-based SEMCO Energy Gas Company to enroll in MIGreenPower, making it the first utility to do so. Beginning this month, SEMCO will purchase half of the electricity needed to supply its Southeast Michigan facilities with clean energy, a move that offsets 707 metric tons of CO2e annually – the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent of 79,000 gallons of gasoline consumed.*
Interested in reducing their carbon footprint, SEMCO initially contacted DTE to explore installing a private solar system at their headquarters. During this phase, DTE also presented the option of joining MIGreenPower Wind, one of its voluntary renewable energy programs. MIGreenPower subscribers participate in DTE’s large-scale solar and wind projects instead of installing and maintaining their own equipment. MIGreenPower is historically less expensive than a traditional onsite solar system, and SEMCO found it was an easy choice when comparing cost per expected megawatt-hour production of an onsite unit versus joining MIGreenPower.
“Since we introduced MIGreenPower Wind in May, we’ve seen tremendous interest in the program from our residential and business customers,” said Brian Calka, director, DTE Energy. “MIGreenPower Wind is our most affordable program on the market, and we’re glad to partner with SEMCO to help deliver on their sustainability goals.”
MIGreenPower Wind is sourced entirely from DTE’s wind portfolio. The wind energy needed to fulfill this contract will come from Pinnebog Wind Park in Huron County, where DTE owns and operates several other wind parks.
“Protecting the environment and minimizing our impact is one of SEMCO’s core values – partnering with DTE Energy underscores our commitment to serve as an environmental steward as we invest in sustainable practices for our own facilities and operations,” said Colleen Starring, president, SEMCO Energy Gas Company.
As more customers enroll in MIGreenPower, DTE will build or acquire new clean energy assets to source the demand for this program. Later this year, DTE will purchase three wind parks to source MIGreenPower contracts from some of Michigan’s most well-known companies; Ford, HAP, General Motors, the University of Michigan and the Detroit Zoo, who all joined the program last year.
Growing MIGreenPower is one of the ways DTE is helping customers live more sustainably. It is also part of DTE’s plan to reduce its carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and meet its goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions goal by 2050.
*Avoided emissions and equivalencies are based on the Environmental Protection Agency equivalencies calculator at http://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator.