- DTE Energy on Thursday announced an initiative to slash methane emissions from its natural gas operations, part of the utility's broad greenhouse gas reduction initiative.
- DTE is already replacing steel and cast iron pipes, but its plan would accelerate those replacements beyond the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recommendations. The company expects to reduce its methane emissions by more than 80% by 2040.
- Earlier this year, the utility unveiled ambitious renewable energy investments in its power operations. The utility wants to double its renewable capacity by 2022, mostly through the addition of wind energy, while working to cut carbon emissions by more than 80% by 2050.
DTE is a large utility both on the natural gas and electric sides, and its efforts at significant greenhouse gas reductions will require improvements and investments across multiple complex supply chains. The utility has 2.2 million electricity customers and 1.3 million gas customers.
While the utility has made significant clean energy announcements recently, DTE's efforts are not new. Officials say improvements made to gas infrastructure since 2011 have already reduced methane emissions by 16%. By continuing to replace gas mains, and taking a proactive approach to compressor station management, the utility expects to hit its emissions reductions targets over the next two decades.
DTE Gas President and COO Mark Stiers in a statement said the utility has demonstrated that natural gas can play an "integral role" in the company's portfolio "while transitioning to a reduced carbon emission infrastructure."
The utility's renewable energy plans, announced earlier this year, include $1.7 billion in investment and the development of 1 GW of green resources, largely wind. Michigan is working towards a 15% Renewable Portfolio Standard.
DTE says 330 MW of wind capacity will be coming online soon, and over the summer the company broke ground on a new $1 billion gas-fired power plant — all of which are parts of the company's efforts to reduce emissions.
The new gas plant will help replace three coal-fired plants DTE intends to retire by 2023. The utility is planning to retire all of its coal generation by 2040.