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US utility wants 15 MW of solar energy

Detroit Edison is looking for corporate and academic institutions which have large rooftops or ground area that can host solar energy installations.

The utility is starting another aspect of its pilot SolarCurrents programme that calls for solar photovoltaic systems to supply 15 MW of green power in its southeast Michigan service area over the next five years.

“SolarCurrents represents one of the largest distributed solar programs in the country, which will provide opportunities to the emerging solar manufacturing industry,” explains Trevor Lauer of DTE Energy. “The program also will encourage development of new green energy projects by providing financial incentives to non-residential customers interested in solar energy systems.”

Detroit Edison will invest US$100 million in the programme, which requires customers to participate for 20 years.

Utility will own the solar systems

The solar energy systems will be owned, installed, operated and maintained by the utility. In return, customers will receive an annual credit on their energy bill, based on the system size, as well as a one-time, upfront construction payment to cover any inconvenience during installation.

Interested participants should own a facility with 15,000 ft2 of unobstructed roof in good condition or a similarly sized area on the ground. The utility will accept applications for one month.

Detroit Edison will invest US$2 billion in coming years to add 1,200 MW of renewable energy to meet the state’s renewable energy goals. In addition to solar installations, the utility will acquire or build wind farms and other green energy facilities for half of that capacity, and contract with third party vendors for the balance.

Detroit Edison is an investor-owned electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Michigan.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity