Midwestern utility DTE Energy announced its 225-MW Meridian Wind Park project has entered commercial operation. The group on April 18 said the wind farm, located in Merrill and spanning parts of Midland and Saginaw counties in central Michigan, features 77 turbines and operates on land leased from farmers in the region.
A DTE spokesperson said the utility oversaw construction of the wind farm and will be responsible for its operations and maintenance. The utility began developing the project in 2021. DTE said the facility is Michigan’s largest single-phase wind park. DTE also operates the 383-MW Isabella wind farm, which came online in 2021, but that facility features two wind parks.
DTE’s renewable energy portfolio now includes 20 wind farms along with 33 solar parks. The utility has said it plans to add at least 1,000 MW of renewable energy generation capacity annually beginning in 2025. DTE in its CleanVision Integrated Resource Plan filed last year proposed an additional 15,000 MW of clean energy by 2042.
The utility earlier said it wants to make its electricity generation, along with its natural gas business, carbon-neutral by 2050.
More Renewable Energy
“DTE is committed to aggressively growing its renewable energy portfolio as part of its plan to transition Michigan to cleaner sources of energy. We know this is the right thing to do for our customers, our company and our communities,” said Brian Calka, DTE vice president of renewable energy sales and project development, in a news release. “In addition to bringing even more clean energy to the grid and supporting Michigan’s overall decarbonization goals, these projects help strengthen our economy by creating and sustaining jobs and by bringing millions of dollars in additional tax revenue to the communities that host this infrastructure.”
“I want to thank our friends at DTE for their partnership in getting this project completed and operational,” said JoAnn Crary, president of Saginaw Future. “We have been involved with this project since the beginning and know that it will be a catalyst for continued economic growth in our area.”
Gretchen Whitmer, the state’s Democratic governor, in 2022 said her administration would support a plan to decarbonize Michigan’s economy. Democrats in the state Senate are pushing a package of legislation calling for zero-carbon energy production, which includes nuclear power along with renewable energy resources, by 2035.
State officials have said they could earmark as much as $300 million in funding to restart the closed 840-MW Palisades Nuclear Generating Station, which was closed last year by then-owner Entergy, which subsequently sold the Covert-based plant to Holtec International for decommissioning. Holtec in March of this year presented a plan to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to restart Palisades, with hopes of receiving federal funding to bring the facility back online. A Holtec official told the NRC in March that decommissioning work to date has not involved dismantling of the plant.
—Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).