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Michigan's largest solar array project near Ann Arbor to go online this year

May 14, 2015

Credit Ford Motor Company / Flickr

DTE Energy is moving forward with a solar power project near Ann Arbor.

Ryan Stanton of The Ann Arbor News reports the project will be visible to motorists traveling the highway. 

The 4,000-plus photovoltaic panels going up along the north side of the U.S. 23 and M-14 interchange in Ann Arbor Township will be the largest solar array in Michigan, enough to power about 185 average-size homes, according to DTE.

DTE, which received approval from the township, is leasing roughly eight acres of land for the solar array from Domino's Farms.

DTE says the project is expected to be completed and operational by the end of this year.

The 1.1-megawatt solar energy installation is part of the utility's effort to reach the state's renewable energy standard. Under the standard, utilities must get 10% of their energy from renewable sources by the end of this year.

DTE has another solar project at Ford Motor Company's World Headquarters in Dearborn. That solar carport project became operational last year.

From a DTE press release:

The project ... provides Ford employees with 360 covered parking spaces and 30 charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles.  The solar canopy has capacity to generate 1 megawatt of electricity – enough to power 170 average-sized homes. It is the second-largest solar carport in the Midwest.

Lawmakers in Lansing are debating the state's renewable energy standard. As Andy Balaskovitz of Midwest Energy News reports:

Separate comprehensive energy packages emerging from the House and Senate — both of which have Republican majorities — differ on some topics, including electric choice, but committee chairs from both chambers are intent on removing efficiency standards that were adopted seven years ago. Neither packages call for a higher renewable portfolio standard, while one House Republican introduced a stand-alone bill Thursday to repeal the RPS.