DTE to buy Isabella County wind farms

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Apex Clean Energy today announced that its proposed sale of the Isabella Wind I and II projects to the Detroit-based utility holding company DTE Energy, has been conditionally approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC).

The two projects, totaling 385 MW and located in mid-Michigan’s Isabella County, will be the largest clean energy projects in the state as well as the largest renewable energy projects in DTE’s portfolio when they begin commercial operations in 2020.

Apex will start construction on the projects later this year, and DTE will assume ownership and operation upon substantial completion, which is slated for the fourth quarter of 2020.

“The commitment and support of local residents and the leadership of Isabella County are the key drivers in making the Isabella Wind projects a reality,” said Mark Goodwin, Apex Clean Energy president and CEO. “In turn, these projects will support and strengthen the region while accelerating Michigan’s transition to a clean energy economy. Apex is proud to partner with DTE to deliver the many benefits of clean energy to its customers in the Great Lakes State.”

DTE will use the Isabella Wind projects to meet the renewable energy needs of large commercial and industrial customers who have enrolled in MIGreenPower, the company’s voluntary renewable energy program. Ford, General Motors, and the University of Michigan were the first large customers to join the program after it was approved by the MPSC in January 2019.

“Adding Isabella I and Isabella II to DTE’s generation portfolio will help us accelerate Michigan’s transition to cleaner energy and reduce carbon emissions at least 80 percent by 2040,” said Irene Dimitry, vice president of business planning and development for DTE Energy.

The Isabella Wind projects will be powered by 136 wind turbines supplied by GE Renewable Energy, a leading global wind turbine manufacturer.

The Isabella Wind projects will generate approximately $30 million in tax revenue for the local community, $100 million in landowner payments over the lifetime of the project, more than 300 jobs during construction, up to 20 long-term operations and maintenance positions, and enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 86,000 average U.S. homes. The projects will also displace nearly 700,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, according to the EPA’s AVERT tool.

The conditions on the sale are DTE’s acceptance of MPSC changes to its renewable energy plan.

More on Apex Clean Energy at apexcleanenergy.com. More about DTE at dteenergy.com and empoweringmichigan.com.

The MPSC also reported that DTE had agreed to buy from Heritage Wind Energy and Gichi Noodin Wind Farm LLC the 72.5-megawatt Fairbanks Wind Park in the Upper Peninsula’s Delta County, to be built by late 2020.

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