DTE Looks to Future, $1 Billion Natural Gas Power Plant

September 2017, Vol. 244, No. 9

DTE is seeking permission to build a natural gas-fired power plant northeast of Detroit in a move toward closing coal-fired plants, the company said recently.

The plan calls for construction of the $1 billion plant to begin in 2019 in St. Clair County, where DTE has operated coal-fired power plants for decades. One of those plants is already scheduled to cease operations by 2023.

“A fundamental transformation in the way we produce power in Michigan has already begun,” Trevor F. Lauer, DTE Electric president and COO said, calling   the natural-gas fired facility “the best solution for our customers due to many factors, including the environment, reliability and affordability.”

The Michigan Public Service Commission will review the request and is expected to respond by May. If approved, the gas-fired plant in East China Township will provide 1,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for 850,000 homes, starting in 2022.

DTE’s plan is part of a nationwide trend with natural gas surpassing coal in recent years as the No. 1 energy-generation source in the country, claiming 34% of the market last year.

In September, DTE said it would build a gas-fired plant in near the existing St. Clair County power plants, about 45 miles from of Detroit.