This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

November 26, 2003

DTE Energy to Build Hydrogen-Fueled Microgrid in Detroit

DTE Energy announced last week that its subsidiary, DTE Energy Technology, will build a $5.4-million microgrid project in Detroit, Michigan, at the facilities for NextEnergy, an organization that encourages alternative energy development within the state. As the name implies, microgrids are miniature power grids that can operate in conjunction with the regional power grid or can operate in isolation. They are usually connected to the larger power grid in a way that allows them to maintain higher reliability and power quality for the electrical loads they serve.

The microgrid project will be fueled by hydrogen, natural gas, and solar power, and will include the use of several emerging on-site energy technologies, including fuel cells, microturbines, solar power systems, and internal and external combustion engines. It will also include underground electrical and thermal distribution systems to provide electricity, heating, and air conditioning to the NextEnergy facility. In addition, the microgrid will have the capability to serve the broader energy needs of the entire research and business technology park where NextEnergy will be located, on the campus of Wayne State University in Detroit. DTE Energy expects to complete the project by December 2004. See the November 20th press release from DTE Energy.

NextEnergy was created by the State of Michigan to advance alternative energy technologies for both stationary and vehicular power systems, and to establish Michigan as a leader in these technologies. The NextEnergy facility will include a 5,600-square-foot "Power Pavilion," which will house the microgrid, a hydrogen-fueling infrastructure, office space, a laboratory, and product demonstration and exhibition facilities. See the NextEnergy Web site.

As noted in this newsletter last week, DTE Energy is also developing a hydrogen technology park in Southfield, about 10 miles northwest of Detroit. See last week's article.