By Kari Williamson

The US$485 million contract with Tuscola Bay Wind LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources has been approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC).

DTE Energy will purchase all of the energy produced at the 9000-acre wind farm, which is expected to be operational late next year.

"This contract has pushed us over the halfway mark to our goal of 1000 MW of renewable energy capacity," says Trevor Lauer, DTE Energy Vice President, Marketing & Renewables.

DTE Energy expects the majority of its renewable energy to come from wind resources, but the company also has a pilot solar energy programme that could produce approximately 20 MW.

Three more wind farms

DTE Energy has also announced it has selected Barton Malow Co to build the three DTE Energy wind farms in Huron and Sanilac counties next year. The company also selected GE to provide the nearly 70 wind turbines to be sited at the wind farms, which will total about 110 MW. Initial delivery of the wind turbines is expected next summer.

The contracts will be filed with the MPSC for approval.