DTE Energy partners with Ford Motor, Domino's Farms to boost solar in Michigan

DTE Energy is teaming with Ford Motor Company and Domino’s Farms to build and operate the two largest solar arrays in Michigan.

DTE Energy, the largest investor in solar energy in the U.S. state, has begun construction of a 1.1 MW solar PV installation at Domino’s Farms, just east of Ann Arbor, which will be completed and operational by the end of the year.

Paul Roney, president of Domino’s Farms, said the solar installation would generate “the equivalent of one-quarter of the energy consumed at Domino’s Farms each day” and described it as “a clean, sustainable energy solution.”

As construction began on the new Domino’s Farms array, a separate solar project at Ford Motor Company’s World Headquarters in Dearborn became operational.

The 1 MW project, launched last year, provides Ford employees with 360 covered parking spaces and 30 charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles. It is the second-largest solar carport in the Midwest.

"These large-scale solar projects are examples of how DTE partners with customers to build a more sustainable future," said Irene Dimitry, DTE Energy VP, Business Planning & Development. "These projects, as well as our investment in wind energy, have helped us meet Michigan’s renewable energy goals and diversify our energy portfolio."

DTE Energy will construct, operate and maintain the solar arrays for 20 years.

The Domino’s Farms and Ford Motor Co. projects are part of SolarCurrents, a pilot program launched by DTE Energy in 2009. DTE Energy has installed nearly 10 MW of solar energy across 22 sites in metro Detroit and in Michigan’s "Thumb" area.

"DTE’s experience in developing solar in Michigan has provided valuable learnings with regard to the true cost, benefits and issues associated with utility- and customer-owned solar capacity," Dimitry said.