DTE Energy's Thumb Wind Parks consists of (69) 1.6 megawatt General Electric wind turbines, three electrical substations and associated electrical collection system, located in Huron and Sanilac Counties. The park generates renewable energy capable of powering 25,000 homes in Michigan.
Located on 15,000 acres spread over roughly 600 square miles, the 110 MW wind park is divided into three primary turbine sites – known as Minden, McKinley and Sigel. The Minden site contributes 32MW of power with 20 wind turbine generators (WTGs); the McKinley site provides 14.4MW of power with 9 WTGs; and the Sigel site delivers 64MW of power with 40 WTGs. All sites utilized GE 1.6MW wind turbine generators on 96- and 100-meter towers.
The project is eco-friendly and supports the local and state economies, including annual royalty payments to participating landowners. During the construction phase, the project employed more than 200 workers and post completion will utilize 10 full-time personnel to operate and maintain the facilities and equipment.
Barton Malow self-performed civil sitework, concrete foundation placement, and tower and wind turbine generator erection. The start of full commercial operation occurred December 2012. The development and construction of the company’s wind parks in Huron and Sanilac Counties in 2012 contributed over $60 million in direct payments into Michigan’s economy for construction materials and equipment. Over 120 Michigan residents were employed during the construction of the park spending $750,000 in food, lodging and expenses.
To meet the state’s renewable energy goals, DTE expects to add approximately 1,000 MW or 10 percent of its output power, from renewable energy by 2015. DTE plans to own facilities to supply up to half of that power and contract with third-party producers for the remainder.
Check out this video from the AGC Build Michigan Award Ceremony: