- DTE Energy will close the 110 megawatt unit 7a and the 100 megawatt unit 8 of its coal-burning Trenton Channel Power Plant in 2016, leaving only the 500 megawatt unit 9 in operation. The company indicated it expects to continue operating unit 9 and will not lay off employees due to the smaller unit closures, though some may be transferred to other plants and facilities.
- A DTE spokesperson said the decision to close the units was made in the expectation that the EPA emissions reduction regulations will be in effect “in the next few years” and because of DTE’s commitment to "competitive electric rates” on behalf of its customers.
- If DTE’s generation portfolio wasn’t filled out with coal holdings, an exec recently said, rate basing wind would make it more attractive. These closures are likely to make room in the DTE portfolio to rate base wind and other renewables.
The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) recently released a draft proposal for DTE Energy and Consumers Energy, the state’s dominant investor-owned utilities, to develop more customer-owned and community-owned distributed solar as regulators consider how Governor Rick Snyder’s proposed 20% renewables by 2025 mandate could be achieved if it replaces the expiring and fulfilled current 10% by 2015 mandate. The PSC report proposed that Michigan expand its 28 megawatt customer-owned solar programs by at least 50 megawatts by the end of 2015.
DTE Energy’s just-announced Q2 2014 earnings were up 17.7% over Q1 2013 and the utility's divestiture of coal holdings is likely to boost its financial position because meeting EPA pollution regulations is expected to make coal increasingly expensive.