Detroit Edison Starts Second Generation Solar Farm

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Detroit Edison’s second-generation solar energy generation center in Washtenaw County’s Scio Township is the first installation to produce power for the grid under the company’s SolarCurrents program.

The 60-kilowatt photovoltaic installation nearly doubled the size of the previous experimental solar energy facility at that site. The installation at 1901 S. Wagner, which started producing electricity in 1997, was decommissioned last summer in favor of newer solar technology. The new installation has 270 solar panels, including 60 that track the movement of the sun.

The installation will be operated by Detroit Edison and maintained by J. Ranck Electric Inc. of Mt. Pleasant. Real-time generation data can be viewed at www.dteenergy.com/dteEnergyCompany/environment/renewableEnergy/solar.html.

Detroit Edison’s SolarCurrents program calls for photovoltaic systems to be installed on utility- or customer-owned property or rooftops over the next five years. Those systems would generate 20 megawatts of electricity throughout Southeast Michigan. Other organizations signed up to host solar installations are Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Ford Motor Co. and Monroe County Community College. All will begin producing power early next year. Detroit Edison plans to invest more than $100 million in the program, which requires customers to participate for 20 years.

The 120 solar panels and other equipment retired by the utility were donated to a number of organizations which will use them for education and to generate electricity to power buildings and vehicles. Those organizations are Oakland Community College, Monroe County Community College, E-Three Labs of Detroit, Ebenezer Glen Orphanage in Haiti, the Huron Area Technical Center in Bad Axe, the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association in Dimondale and St. Elizabeth Church in Wyandotte.

More at www.dteenergy.com

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