DTE Energy proposes to replace retiring coal with 1 GW of natural gas capacity
- DTE Energy last week gave more details on its plan to replace coal plants that are on the chopping block, announcing it would build an unspecified number of gas plants to generate about 1,000 MW of energy, Crain's Detroit Business reports.
- Over the summer, DTE announced it would retire three coal plants in Michigan by 2023, replacing them with a cleaner mix of natural gas, wind and solar power.
- DTE has identified at least one likely site for a new plant, adjacent to the Belle River power plant in China Township, Michigan.
DTE will retire 11 out of 17 coal units in the next seven years, shuttering older plants in favor of a new and cleaner fleet. While the utility has said it intends to add renewables into the mix, its announcement last week focused on gas generation.
"These new energy generation investments will significantly reduce greenhouses gases by moving to cleaner technologies," DTE Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson said in a statement.
The company noted that the new gas generation will add to other recent acquisitions: Last year DTE acquired the 732 MW Renaissance Power Plant in Carson City and the 350 MW Dean Peaker Plant in East China Township. Shelling out $1.3 billion, DTE is also investing in three midstream natural gas assets in a recent push among utilities to invest in the resource.
While renewable power accounts for 10% of DTE's generation, natural gas still makes up the bulk of its push to invest in cleaner energy. DTE's June decision to close eight coal units was hailed by environmentalists as a step in the right direction.
The closures "will dramatically improve the health of the communities surrounding these plants, as well as provide an opportunity for a just transition for communities and workers,” Regina Strong, director of The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign in Michigan said in a statement.
The new projects are contingent on approval by the Michigan Public Service commission. DTE expects to formally propose the new facilities to regulators this month.
- DTE to build new gas-fired power plants to replace coal-based sites planned for retirement Crain's Detroit Business
- Platts DTE unveils plans to spend up to $1.5 billion on gas plant construction
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