DTE unveils plans for 1,000 MW of new gas-fired capacity

DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) announced Sept. 29 that it will build new gas-fired generation as part of its commitment to ensure long-term reliability and produce cleaner energy for customers at its regulated DTE Electric subsidiary in Michigan.

The new energy generated will replace a portion of the capacity from coal-fired plants DTE intends to retire by 2023. DTE has plans to build state-of-the-art natural gas turbine plants to provide approximately 1,000 MW. The company will invest between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in these new generating assets, expected to be completed between 2021 and 2023. Based on preliminary site analysis, one project is expected to be located on existing DTE property adjacent to the Belle River power plant in China Township, Mich.

This new generation will provide long-term reliability and will add to the company’s recent acquisitions of natural gas generating capacity. In 2015, the company acquired the 732-MW Renaissance Power Plant in Carson City and the 350-MW Dean Peaker Plant in East China Township.

“DTE Energy is committed to providing Michigan and our customers with reliable, cleaner sources of energy,” said DTE Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson. “These new energy generation investments will significantly reduce greenhouses gases by moving to cleaner technologies. Just as important, it will enable us to deliver safe, affordable and reliable energy for DTE’s 2.2 million customers.”

In June, DTE announced plans to retire three of its five coal plants in Michigan – River Rouge, St. Clair and Trenton Channel – by 2023 and replace that capacity with a mix of cleaner energy, including natural gas, wind and solar. The age of these plants, as well as additional coal plants planned for retirement statewide by other energy companies, demonstrates a need for new energy sources in Michigan, the company said.

DTE’s clean energy steps up to now include:

  • Over the past five years, DTE has built significant renewable energy production which now accounts for 10% of the company’s total generation.
  • In May, DTE Energy began construction on one of the largest solar arrays east of the Mississippi River located in Lapeer, Mich. This month the company began construction on the largest solar array on vacant land in the City of Detroit.
  • Over the last decade, DTE Energy has cut emissions in half, and will further reduce emissions as the company retires coal plants and transitions to cleaner energy, such as wind, solar and natural gas.
  • The reduction in electric use by DTE customers who have participated in energy optimization programs has avoided the need for 600 MW of generating capacity.

“As a company, we are always focused on doing the right thing – for our customers, our communities, our employees and our shareholders,” Anderson said.  “Throughout this process, we will work with the state of Michigan and the Michigan Public Service Commission to ensure affordable, reliable and cleaner energy.”

DTE Energy is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.