DTE Energy installing field of solar panels on University of Michigan's North Campus
The project —which will generate enough energy to power about 100 homes— began earlier this week.
It's part of DTE Energy's SolarCurrents program, which means that the company will own, operate and install the panels while U-M receives an annual payment. Energy produced by the panels will be fed into DTE's electric grid.
The panels will be distributed on 2.4 acres of land.
Altogether, the assortment includes 1,800 solar modules and has a potential annual generating capacity of 750,000 kilowatt hours of energy, or 127,000 more kilowatt hours than it takes to power the Fleming Administration Building, according to U-M figures.
The SolarCurrents program is part of DTE's efforts to meet Michigan's Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires that utilities derive 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2015.
The utility already operates solar arrays on General Motors, Ford, Monroe County Community College and Blue Cross Blue Shield properties, as well as roofs of two Michigan high schools.
In September 2011 U-M President Mary Sue Coleman said the solar panels are part of an ongoing sustainability initiative to reduce waste and energy use at the school's Ann Arbor campus.
Officials said they do now know how much money the project will generate for the university.