Detroit Edison Renewable Energy Agreements Approved by MPSC

Biomass projects to help utility meet renewable energy goals

Aug 10, 2010, 14:33 ET from DTE Energy

DETROIT, Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Two contracts totaling 20 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity – or enough to power nearly 14,000 homes – were approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today, adding to Detroit Edison's renewable energy portfolio.

The 20-year contracts, with WM Renewable Energy LLC and L'Anse Warden Electric Co., call for the energy to be generated from landfill gas and wood waste biomass, respectively.

Detroit Edison plans to provide 10 percent of its power from renewable resources by 2015.  

Detroit Edison will purchase 17 MW from the L'Anse Warden wood waste biomass facility in Baraga County in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The former coal-burning facility was converted to wood waste and became operational in August 2009. L'Anse Warden's fuel supply comprises a rotating crop of quick-growing willow trees, paper plant by-product, landfill diversion wood, and wood bark and chips.

Detroit Edison also will purchase 3 MW of renewable energy capacity from WM Renewable Energy, a Waste Management subsidiary. The future Eagle Valley Renewable Energy Facility will be in Lake Orion in Michigan's Oakland County. The facility will use landfill gas captured from the adjacent Eagle Valley Landfill. The new facility is expected to start operating by the end of 2011.

Detroit Edison expects the majority of its renewable energy to come from wind resources. The company has acquired easements on more than 75,000 acres of land in Huron County in Michigan's Thumb region for development of large-scale wind farms.  The company also has two solar energy pilot programs that could produce about 20 megawatts of power.

To meet the state's renewable portfolio standard, Detroit Edison expects to add about 1,200 megawatts of renewable power.  The company plans to contract with third-party producers, such as WM Renewable Energy and L'Anse Warden, for half of that capacity, and plans to own renewable energy projects to meet the remainder. In January, Detroit Edison announced an agreement with Heritage Sustainable Energy to purchase the output from the company's wind farm near Cadillac, Mich.

Detroit Edison is an investor-owned electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a subsidiary of DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Information about DTE Energy is available at