DTE Energy provides snapshot of coal retirement planning

DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE), the parent of Michigan utility DTE Electric (formerly known as Detroit Edison), has roughly 7,000 MW of coal-fired generation going under the microscope between now and 2020.

That’s according to information in a presentation that DTE vice presidents Dan Brudzynski and Nick Khouri are scheduled to deliver to the upcoming Citi Global Energy & Utilities Conference, to be held on May 15-16.

For starters, there are 203-MW of coal generating capacity that will definitely be retired in the next few years. Then there is an additional 650 MW of coal capacity under “current retirement evaluation” pending U.S. EPA regulations, according to the DTE presentation.

Furthermore there is an additional 1,770 MW of coal capacity that could face retirement after 2020.

The short-term, pending and medium-term units will likely be backfilled with gas or wind over the next decade, according to DTE.

Finally, there is 4,410 MW in coal units that DTE considers a continued long-term investment that will be part of the fleet for at least 20 years. Specific coal units aren’t named in the presentation, but that long-term capacity would primarily be the giant Monroe coal plant, which is getting the bulk of DTE Electric’s clean-air investments.

DTE Electric is planning to reduce emissions from its coal fleet, including the 3,047-MW Monroe facility. DTE also recently lost a Clean Air Act case in federal appeals court.

DTE expects to make between $9bn and $10bn in capital expenditures between 2013 and 2017, according to the presentation. DTE is also expected to meet a 10% renewable standard by 2015.

In a boost to the utility’s electricity sales, Michigan’s automobile production and housing starts have doubled between 2009 and 2013 while the state’s unemployment rate has declined from 13.4% to 8.3% over that period.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.