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DTE Energy stonewalling solar, say solar companies

solar panels
David Goehring
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Two solar energy companies say DTE Energy is stonewalling to keep them out of the state.

Kevin Borgia is with Cypress Creek Renewables, which plans up to 700 megawatts of new solar farms in Michigan.

He says the company can't proceed without first getting basic information from DTE, like where's a good place to connect to DTE's grid - and what kind of transmission upgrades will be needed.

He says DTE is violating state law by continually failing to meet deadlines to provide the information. "Over 100 times DTE has failed to meet those deadlines," he says.

Borgia says DTE is also grossly overcharging for the studies independent solar companies need to get projects underway.

"In a lot of cases, a utility will charge for these initial preliminary studies, say, $2,000, $2,500 or something in that range," he says.  "DTE has been charging $32,000. "

The other solar company, Geronomo, makes the same complaints.

Both companies have filed complaints with the Michigan Public Service Commission.

DTE Energy declined to respond to the substance of the complaints.  

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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