The Michigan Public Service Commission recently approved DTE Energy’s plans to bring additional renewable energy to more of its customers.

The company said that in an effort to provide more accessibility to renewable energy, it plans to work with local organizations in River Rouge, Highland Park and Detroit to build new community solar projects in those cities.

The projects will provide a number of qualifying low-income residents with 100% renewable energy, as well as credits that will result in lowering their monthly bill. DTE has agreed to fund a portion of these projects and is seeking to partner with third party organizations to assist in funding these new community pilot projects.

DTE will also enhance its popular MIGreenPower program, which enables customers to attribute their electrical usage to designated wind and solar projects and reduce their carbon footprint without installing their own generation systems.

Approved changes to the MIGreenPower program will lower the program’s cost and simplify enrollment, including adding a fixed-price subscription option. DTE expects to implement the new program changes during the first quarter of 2022.

“Today’s decision represents nearly 16 months of dedicated work and engagement with multiple stakeholder groups,” said Trevor Lauer, president of DTE’s electric company. “We want to thank the MPSC and all of the parties involved for working with us on this effort. We also want to thank the 500 plus customers a week who are enrolling in MIGreenPower as well as the many businesses and institutions, including the state of Michigan, who are using the program to bring more clean energy to the grid. This program provides our customers with a low-cost option to access clean energy without having to make long-term financial commitments or alter their homes’ exterior. In addition, the new community solar pilots will help us meet the needs of municipalities and other communities who want more proximity to and involvement with these projects.”

The company will establish a process that will enable customers and private philanthropic organizations to both fund MIGreenPower subscriptions for low-income customers through traditional MIGreenPower projects and help support the community solar projects in Detroit, Highland Park and River Rouge.

If the company is successful in securing the necessary funding, low-income customers who participate in either of these options will receive the bill credits associated with program enrollment without paying the subscription fee. Customers can learn more about these options, including how to donate to them on DTE’s Empowering Michigan blog.

DTE views climate change as one of the defining issues of our era, and the company said it is making fundamental changes to the way it produces energy with the goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

In leading the effort to decarbonize the state’s economy, the company stated that it also is committed to helping its customers and partners deliver on their own environmental goals. With the recent MPSC decision, DTE will continue working with the city of Ann Arbor to positively contribute to the city’s sustainability plan.

In addition to the approvals, the MPSC will allow DTE to add more than 420 megawatts of new solar capacity proposed as part of the company’s renewable energy plan filed on August 31, 2020. Approval of this renewable energy plan clears the way for DTE to add a total of 1,000 megawatts of new wind and solar by the end of 2023.

When the new projects come online, DTE’s portfolio will include more than 2,700 megawatts of renewable energy, enough clean energy to power approximately 900,000 Michigan homes.

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