Changes to DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower voluntary renewable program were authorized by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) this week to make it more accessible and affordable for customers, in conjunction with numerous new solar projects greenlit for construction.
The new projects will be a cooperative venture between DTE and local organizations in Detroit, Highland Park, and River Rouge. All will be community solar, with service provided to numerous qualifying low-income residents. These residents will benefit from fully renewable energy and gain credits that will lower their monthly bills. DTE itself will fund a portion of the projects and seek partners for the rest.
Simultaneously, DTE’s MIGreenPower program was approved to lower costs and simplify its enrollment process, including a fixed-price subscription option. The program allows customers to attribute their electrical usage to certain wind and solar projects to help reduce their carbon footprint without relying on personal generation systems. Customers and philanthropic organizations will soon be able to fund subscriptions for low-income customers through traditional MIGreenPower projects and support the new community solar projects.
Notably, if this goes as planned, low-income participants would be able to receive the program’s bill credits without paying a subscription fee. In essence, the changes should make MIGreenPower more accessible to a wider range of customers beginning in the first quarter of 2022.
“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,” Trevor Lauer, president of DTE’s electric company, said. “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.”
With these changes and additions, DTE expects to have more than 2,700 MW of renewable energy available by 2023 — enough to power an average of 900,000 homes.