Right here in Detroit, this is one of the largest urban solar arrays in the region. Welcome to O’Shea Solar Park. Our friends at DTE Energy, tell us all about O’Shea solar park which you may have seen driving on I-96 near Greenfield Road.

Terri Schroeder, Director – Renewable Energy, DTE Energy
“So this is the O’Shea Solar array. It’s a 2-megawatt solar array in the city of Detroit. It came online in 2017 and it’s one of our largest urban arrays.”

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As you can see, there are rows and rows of solar panels. This facility has over 7,000 panels which can power about 450 homes. Of course, we need to know how solar panels work, especially with our constantly changing Michigan weather.

“A lot of people ask about solar in Michigan because it’s not always sunny here, but these panels work year-round whether it’s winter or summer. They’re most efficient in direct sunlight, but they work even on cloudy days or when it’s not hot out. They’re actually more efficient in the cooler weather.” Terri adds.

You may be surprised to hear those cooler days can be more beneficial, well there’s a reason for that.
Terri explains, “The way solar works is there are photovoltaic cells in each one of these panels, there made up of a bunch of photovoltaic cells and when the sunlight enters those cells the heat creates a current of electricity. And in the middle of summer, it gets really hot, so it just operates a little more efficiently if it it’s not as hot.”

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Solar panels are designed to be out in the elements, but how are the panels impacted when it’s raining or snowing?
Terri replies, “The rain doesn’t, the snow can cover. If we get a big snow, it will cover the panels, but you’ll see they don’t stay covered for long. So, it’s not like when we have snow on the ground all winter. Because of the tilt and because when they’re active there creating heat the snow often melts off quickly and they get back to work.”
Whether the forecast calls for rain or shine, solar parks are helping power communities.

“O’Shea Solar is 1 of 33 operating solar parks that DTE has in the state of Michigan. Currently, our solar arrays can power 35,000 homes. And by 2025 we expect to be able to power 1-million homes from renewable energy.” Says Terri.

Big plans are in store for Michigan’s clean energy future.

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Terri Schroeder, Director – Renewable Energy, DTE Energy
“So DTE has a net-zero carbon emissions goal by 2050 which is important to curb the effects of climate change and renewable energy is a key component of our progress toward that net-zero carbon emissions goal.”
O’Shea Solar Park is turning sunlight into energy one solar panel at a time. I’m Meteorologist Kylee Miller.