Early this morning, DTE Energy started up the turbines at Pine River wind park for the first time. The new park, located in Gratiot and Isabella counties in mid-Michigan, is Michigan’s largest and DTE’s most cost-effective and cost-efficient wind project to date. With 65 turbines generating 161.3 megawatts, the park produces enough clean energy to power 54,000 average-sized Michigan homes.
The park will offset nearly 300,000 metric tons of CO2 annually – the greenhouse gas equivalent of taking more than 63,000 cars off the road for a year* – and represents a significant step toward the company’s goals of reducing carbon emissions by more than 80 percent by 2050 and reaching 50 percent clean energy through renewables and energy efficiency by 2030.
“Commissioning Pine River is a big achievement for DTE,” said Dave Harwood, renewable energy director for DTE Energy. “In addition to helping DTE meet its carbon reduction goals, building and operating the park is an investment in Michigan’s economy. During construction, ninety percent of the labor was provided by Michigan workers. Now that the park is operational, the local community will benefit from the additional tax revenue the park will generate.”
DTE wind projects provide more than clean energy for DTE – they also provide a stable source of income for landowners who have turbines on their property, jobs that help young people stay in the community, and tax revenue that can be used to support improvements in roads, schools, emergency services and other vital community needs. Greater Gratiot Development, Inc. reports that between 2012-2016, the county received more than $30 million in tax revenue from its wind parks.
Pine River Township Supervisor Kevin Beeson not only appreciates the economic benefits the new wind park is bringing to his community, he also recognizes the project’s environmental benefits as a gift to future generations. “It’s a clean way to make energy, and that’s a nice legacy to leave behind,” he said.
DTE now has 14 wind parks and 31 solar arrays in its generation portfolio, generating enough clean energy to power 500,000 homes. Since 2009, DTE has driven investments of more than $2.8 billion in renewable energy, and the company will invest an additional $2 billion in renewables over the next five years as it more than doubles its capacity in wind and solar.
Adding more renewable energy is just one step DTE is taking as it leads Michigan’s clean energy transformation. With an aggressive goal of reducing carbon emissions by more than 80 percent by 2050, DTE is delivering on its commitment to generate cleaner energy while maintaining reliability and affordability for its customers. To learn more about DTE’s long-term carbon reduction goal, please visit Journeyto80.com.
*Avoided emissions and equivalencies are based on Egrid 2017 non-baseload emissions factors by subregion and the Environmental Protection Agency equivalencies calculator at http://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator.