The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), Lansing, Mich., recently approved Detroit-based Detroit Edison's first engineer, procure, and construct contract for the utility's SolarCurrents renewable energy program.

The regulatory approval paves the way for Detroit Edison to start its own commercial solar projects at various locations throughout its Southeastern Michigan service area.

The $18-million, one-year contract was awarded to Nova Consultants, Inc. of Novi, Mich. The contract directs Nova to analyze the feasibility, design, installation, and start-up of up to 3MW of photovoltaic (PV) solar systems to be installed on Detroit Edison-owned, as well as customer-owned facilities.

"This contract will provide a number of new energy opportunities for our larger customers, as well as economic development benefits for the region as a whole, " says Trevor Lauer, DTE Energy's VP, retail marketing. "We're interested in installing solar PV systems at businesses, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations."