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Detroit Edison Wants to Put Solar on Commercial Rooftops

solarpanels-2Detroit Edison, a subsidiary of DTE Energy, is seeking commercial customers to participate in its SolarCurrents program that aims to generate 15 megawatts (MW) of solar energy in southeast Michigan over the next five years, reports Detroit Green Technology Examiner.

Detroit Edison said in a press release the program opens up opportunities for the solar manufacturing industry while encouraging the development of new renewable energy projects by providing financial incentives to commercial customers interested in solar energy systems.

Detroit Edison will invest more than $100 million in the program to install photovoltaic systems on customer rooftops or properties as long as they agree to participate in the program for at least 20 years.

Edison will own, operate and maintain the equipment, while customers get an annual credit on their energy bill based on system size as well as a one-time upfront construction payment.

Applications will be accepted until April 29. Detroit Edison said applicants should own a facility with at least 15,000 square feet of unobstructed roof in good condition, or a similar sized area on the ground.

On a much larger scale, Southern California Edison has a program to install 500 MW worth of solar on commercial rooftops.

Southern California Edison also  signed 175 MW worth of renewable energy contracts from 13 different facilities, reports NASDAQ (via Dow Jones). The power purchases include six proposed 20-MW solar farms, two 20-MW wind farms and two existing small biomass generators, which will help the utility meet its state renewable energy requirements.

However, Detroit Edison also expects to invest nearly $2 billion in the upcoming years to add more than 1,200 MW of renewable energy to meet the state’s renewable energy goals. The utility also plans to purchase or build wind farms and other green energy facilities for half of that capacity, and contract with third-party vendors for the remainder.

In May last year, Detroit Edison entered into a $90 million, 20-year agreement with Heritage Sustainable Energy to purchase wind power and renewable energy credits to help the company meet Michigan’s energy law that requires electric utilities to provide 10 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2015.

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