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North Star Township – An energy park that can power 64,000 homes now is operational in mid-Michigan.

Polaris Wind Park in Gratiot County’s Lafayette, Hamilton and North Star townships is the first of four new wind parks DTE Energy will commission this year, the Detroit-based utility said Thursday.

Polaris has 68 turbines and can generate 168 megawatts. It will offset more than 355,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas each year, which would be equal to removing 76,000 cars off the road for a year, according to the utility.

The wind park also is part of DTE Energy’s goal of cutting its carbon emissions in half by 2030.

“We are committed to continued growth of our renewable energy portfolio, including wind and solar, as we work to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Trevor F. Lauer, president and chief operating officer of DTE Electric.

Investments of $2 billion are planned over the next five years in wind and solar assets, DTE Energy said.

The utility has 15 wind parks and 31 solar arrays in Michigan.

Last year, DTE Energy announced that its 65-turbine Pine River wind park in Gratiot and Isabella counties was operational.

Wind parks brought in nearly $43 million in tax revenue between 2012-2018 to Gratiot County, according to Greater Gratiot Development, Inc.

DTE Energy’s electric company has 2.2 customers in southeastern Michigan. Its natural gas arm serves 1.3 million in the state.

Most wind farms in Michigan are located in the eastern part of the state along Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron, according to the state.

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