The largest solar farm in Michigan is generating clean energy next to Domino's Farms this fall.
DTE Energy and Domino's Farms flipped the switch on the 1.1 megawatt solar array on Ann Arbor's northeast side earlier this month. Motorist driving past Domino’s Farms at the M-14/US 23 intersection will notice the 4,000 panels on the north side of M-14. DTE Energy owns the solar farm and will operate it for 20 years. It is leasing the land from Domino's Farms.
"We were identified (as a potential home for the solar farm) because we are one of the larger landowners in the Ann Arbor area," says John Petz, director of real-estate and public affairs for Domino's Farms. "We also have a lot of freeway frontage."
The solar farm is putting the undeveloped and underutilized land to use as part of DTE Energy's initiative to generate 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources as mandated by state law. The Domino’s Farms solar array will generate enough electricity for 200 homes at any given time and is part of the 11 megawatts of solar farms run by DTE Energy at 23 sites across Michigan.
The electricity generated at the Domino's Farms solar array will be enough to offset one quarter of its electrical needs, although the power will be sent directly to DTE Energy's grid. The solar array is part of Domino’s Farms overall effort to become more energy efficient, such as switching the green lights that make up the main building's outline to LED lights. Today Domino's Farms uses as much electricity as it did before it added 200,000 square feet of space several years ago.
"We have been doing those sorts of things for a number of years," Petz says.
Source: John Petz, director of real-estate and public affairs for Domino’s Farms
Writer: Jon Zemke