DTE accelerates carbon reduction efforts by 10 years
- DTE Energy has announced plans to reduce emissions by 80% by 2040, accelerating the company's decarbonization plan by a decade through the addition of more renewables and increased energy efficiency.
- DTE's plans call for speeding up the phase-out of coal-fired generation: the utility told the Michigan Public Service Commission last week it will close the St. Clair Power Plant and the Trenton Channel Power Plant in 2022, one year ahead of schedule.
- The utility's Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) also calls for a $2 billion renewable energy investment over the next five years, allowing DTE to more than double its production of green power. DTE also said it is accelerating energy efficiency improvements, helping customers reduce energy usage faster than what is required by state law.
Eliminating coal entirely will still take until 2040, but DTE officials say they are "heavily" focused on improvements that can be made in the next five years, including closing down three plants.
Along with the accelerated closings of the St. Clair and Trenton Channel plants, DTE will also be closing down the River Rouge plant in 2022. The utility said its plan will allow it to reduce average annual carbon emissions by 400,000 tons in 2020 and 2021. And when the three coal-fired plants come off the system in 2022, DTE says its annual carbon emissions will be reduced by an additional 7.5 million tons.
Just two years ago, DTE said it would reach 80% decarbonization by 2050. And last April, DTE announced a plan to drive $1.7 billion in investment and grow its renewable energy capacity from 1 GW to 2 GW, largely through the addition of wind power.
Efficiency improvements will play a significant role in the new goals. Previously, DTE previously committed to reducing energy usage by 1.5% each year, but the 2019 IRP accelerates annual energy savings to 1.75%.
"Our plan has evolved, and we now are accelerating that goal by a decade," DTE Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson said in a statement. But achieving the utility's goals "will require significant investments in the years ahead," he said.
DTE's announcement comes on the heels of other clean energy news in Michigan. Consumers Energy recently announced plans to reduce carbon emissions more than 90% by 2040, part of a proposed IRP settlement filed with regulators March 23. Consumers' IRP also calls for elimination of coal-fired power by 2040, while adding 5 GW of solar to the company's system by 2030.
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