Washtenaw Community College becomes first community college to join DTE renewable energy program

Enrollment to increase until all electrical energy needs fulfilled with clean energy

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Washtenaw Community College announced Wednesday that it has joined DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program.

The Ann Arbor community college is the first in Michigan to join the program, which provides participants a way to reduce their carbon footprint through low-cost access to clean energy.

WCC’s enrollment in the program will begin in 2023 and increase annually until 2029 when all of its electric power needs will be sourced through clean energy.

The University of Michigan, Ford, General Motors, Ann Arbor SPARK and Ann Arbor residents and businesses have joined the voluntary program.

“Protecting our precious resources for generations to come is a critical role for all of us. WCC is thrilled to partner with DTE as the first community college in Michigan to participate in MIGreenPower to accelerate our longtime commitment to these efforts,” said WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca in a release.

MIGreenPower program subscribers have supported 1.8 million megawatt-hours of clean energy since the program’s creation. This has prevented more than 1.4 million tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions from 277,400 passenger cars driven for a year, DTE officials said.

In addition to a clean energy commitment, WCC’s sustainability efforts include eliminating incandescent lamps, composting food and yard waste, installing electric vehicle fueling, implementing campus recycling and following the LEED green building rating system.

The college has outlined long-and-short term carbon neutrality goals and signed the American Colleges and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, a network of higher education institutions committing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Washtenaw Community College is one of our area’s top community colleges,” said DTE Renewable Solutions Director Brian Calka in a release. “We know they are committed to supporting the educational goals of the more than 21,000 students they serve each year, and we are excited they have enrolled in MIGreenPower to meet the environmental goals that are also important to their faculty, students, staff and supporters.”

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.