A 1,150 MW combined-cycle power plant began commercial operation around 40 miles northeast of Detroit.

DTE Energy’s nearly $1 billion Blue Water Energy Center broke ground in 2018. The plant represents the utility’s effort to transition its baseload power sources from coal to natural gas.

The company said it expects Blue Water to be 70% cleaner and 40% more efficient than the three coal-fired plants it is replacing.

The plant was built by Kiewit Engineering, and includes two GE H-class gas turbine and generator sets, along with heat recovery steam generators, steam turbines, and a distributed control system. The plant is expected to receive up to 80 million dekatherm of feed gas a day from a nearby Vector gas pipeline.

Other contractors included Commercial Contracting Corporation as the general contractor. MIOSHA provided construction work through a partnership agreement signed in 2019.

Flenco was subcontracted by GE to provide auxiliary systems, and Doublejack Electrical Co. installed power and lighting systems.

DTE Energy said it aims to double its renewable energy generation by 2025, while investing in hydrogen and battery storage systems. The utility has also proposed a pilot program to study the use hydrogen instead of natural gas at Blue Water Energy Center and the company’s peaker plants.

“The combination of investments in power generation assets like the Blue Water Energy Center that can run 24/7, plus the expansion of renewables, has helped us achieve a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions, and puts us well on our way to meet our goal of 80 percent reduction by 2040, with net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Jerry Norcia, chairman and chief executive officer, DTE Energy.

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