Detroit-based DTE Energy has announced a new goal to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2040, which accelerates its previous commitment by a decade.
In the company’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which is expected to be submitted to the Michigan Public Service Commission this Friday, DTE outlines the steps it will take over the next five years and beyond to transform to a cleaner generation mix. This will include adding more renewables, increasing energy efficiency for its customers above state requirements, and retiring coal plants sooner than previously announced.
“In Michigan, we are in the midst of a fundamental energy transformation,” said Gerry Anderson, DTE Energy chairman and CEO. “Two years ago, we were one of the first energy companies in the country to commit to reducing carbon emissions 80% by 2050. Our plan has evolved, and we now are accelerating that goal by a decade.”
DTE also announced it will reduce carbon emissions at least 50% by 2030, surpassing its previous carbon reduction commitment of 45% by that timeframe.
“Achieving these goals will require significant investments in the years ahead , and we are convinced we can make those investments while ensuring that electricity remains highly reliable and affordable for Michigan homes and businesses,” added Anderson.
The 2016 energy law passed by the Michigan Legislature requires energy companies in the state to file an Integrated Resource Plan every five years. The IRP provides a comprehensive road map for meeting customers’ energy and capacity needs.
DTE’s plan includes:
- Accelerating coal plant retirements: DTE plans to close the St. Clair Power Plant and the Trenton Channel Power Plant in 2022, one year ahead of schedule. The River Rouge Power Plant also will be retired in 2022. DTE is working closely with the impacted communities to help with economic development during this transition. DTE is committed to no employee layoffs and will provide training opportunities for employees to find new roles within the company. We also expect to continue hiring during this timeframe due to anticipated employee retirements.
- Investing $2 billion in renewables by 2024: DTE will more than double its renewable energy production over the next five years, generating enough clean energy to power 800,000 Michigan homes. By the time DTE removes all coal from its generation fleet in 2040, its renewable energy portfolio will have quadrupled.
- Offering homes and businesses the opportunity to voluntarily buy more clean energy to meet their sustainability and carbon footprint goals: DTE is moving aggressively to expand its voluntary renewable program, which will accelerate Michigan’s transition to renewable energy and empower companies to meet their sustainability goals through voluntary investments. As demonstrated by DTE’s recent partnerships with Ford and General Motors, DTE’s MIGreenPower program allows large business and industrial customers to meet their own sustainability goals, while residential and small business customers can choose to source a percentage of their energy from Michigan wind and solar projects.
- Investing in energy efficiency: DTE previously committed to reducing energy usage by 1.5% each year within its service area by working with customers to help them save energy. The 2019 IRP steps up the annual energy savings to 1.75%, which is 75% higher than the state requires. This will help DTE customers save even more energy and more money.
- Investing in hydro energy storage to ensure reliability: An $800 million upgrade project is on schedule at Michigan’sLudington pumped storage facility, co-owned by DTE and Consumers Energy. This investment allows DTE to protect reliability because the facility operates like a giant battery that can be tapped when renewable output drops. When customer demand increases or generation from intermittent resources decreases and electricity prices increase, the water from Ludington’s reservoir can be released, generating electricity for customers. When the project is complete in 2020, Ludington will generate enough power to serve 175,000 DTE households.
The plan DTE is submitting today focuses most heavily on the next five years and considers the most affordable and reliable mix of generation sources that are currently available. Longer-term, DTE will continue to evaluate and refine future options to meet its carbon emissions commitment as technology develops and costs decline.
With this plan, DTE’s average annual carbon emissions will drop by 400,000 tons in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, when Trenton Channel, St. Clair and the River Rouge power plants retire, DTE’s annual carbon emissions will be reduced by an additional 7.5 million tons. That’s the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent of nearly 1.6 million passenger vehicles driven for a year.
“As we developed this plan, we reached out into the community and listened to our customers’ inputs and feedback,” Anderson said. “Our customers care about climate change and want to make sure we are doing everything we can to transition to cleaner energy. All of our customers want us to ensure high reliability as we transition – and we know we need to keep energy affordable for Michigan’s homes and businesses as we evolve as well.”