DTE Energy wants to replace three old coal plants with a huge new natural gas burning one. The company expects to break ground in 2019, DTE announced today. That's if it can convince the state that there is a need for the new plant, and that natural gas is the best way to fill it.
Trevor Lauer, DTE Electric's president and chief operating officer, says the plant will be capable of producing 1,100 megawatts. That's enough to power 850,000 homes.
“It is the newest and best technology to generate power that’s out there right now,” Lauer said.
In a filing with the Michigan Public Service Commission, DTE said it would cost approximately $989 million to build, creating more than 500 construction jobs and 35 permanent positions.
DTE noted there’s “a substantial capacity and energy supply need beginning in 2022, primarily caused by the Company’s projected retirements of River Rouge, St. Clair, and Trenton Channel power plants from 2020-2023.”
Lauer says they picked the location, about 50 miles northeast of Detroit in East China Township, because there’s existing natural gas and electric infrastructure and a “great workforce” that’s already running two of the company’s existing coal plants nearby.
“We employ a lot of people in that area. We’ve had a long working relationship with the communities, and we look forward to just continuing that relationship with them,” he said.
The investment in natural gas is part of DTE’s plan to reduce its carbon footprint 80 percent by 2050.
This article has been updated to reflect the correct amount of DTE's carbon footprint reduction plans.