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Michigan High School To Host $2.5 Million Solar Project

Mercy High School in Farmington Hills, MI will host a 400-kilowatt solar array as part of a 20-year agreement with DTE Energy.

The $2.5 million photovoltaic system is part of a pilot project from DTE Energy, called SolarCurrents, with the goal of installing enough solar arrays on customer property over the next four years to generate 15 megawatts of electricity.

The system, scheduled to be operational in the fall,  will be owned, installed, operated, and maintained by DTE Energy. Mercy will receive an upfront construction payment in exchange for any inconvenience and an annual credit on their energy bills. According to Scott Simon, DTE Energy spokesman, the specific amount of the credits and the construction payment have not yet been determined.

Thanks to the Girls Reaching Environmental Enlightenment Now club, the school has been designated by Michigan as an Emerald Level Green School. The GREEN student club earned the recognition through activities including cell phone and battery recycling programs, the adoption of an endangered animal, hosting a Sierra Club speaker, and promoting a school-wide initiative to reduce energy consumption.

Other recent efficiency upgrades at Mercy include:

  • The installation of variable frequency drives on its large air handler drive motors;
  • High-efficiency lighting in the building and parking lot;
  • Occupancy sensors; and
  • More efficient control of heating and air conditioning.

Mercy High School is a private Catholic college preparatory school for girls. It is a member of the Network for Mercy Education and serves approximately 750 students.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].