DTE Energy plans to accelerate the retirement of its Belle River and Monroe coal-fired units, which make up around 40% of the utility’s current generating fleet.

According to a proposed 20-year plan to be submitted to Michigan regulators, DTE Energy would move up the retirement of Belle River to 2026 from 2028. The plant would be repurposed to run on natural gas as a peaker plant to be used during periods of high demand. Unit 1 is planned to be completed by December 2025 followed by Unit 2 in December 2026.

The nearly 1,300 MW Belle River Plant is located in St. Clair County within China Township and East China Township, Michigan. Coal-fired Unit 1 was completed in 1984, with Unit 2 following in 1985. Three peaker natural-gas fired turbines were added in 1999.

The utility would retire Monroe in 2028, nearly 12 years earlier than the original planned date of 2040.

Monroe has 4 coal-fired units, each with an output of 850 MW. With all four generating units operating, the plant’s total output is around 3,300 MW. It was commissioned in the 1970s.

DTE said it modeled generation for a combined cycle natural gas-fired plant with carbon capture sequestration (CCS) or a small modular reactor (SMR) at Monroe.

To offset the coal retirements and advance decarbonization goals, DTE is proposing to add 15,400 MW of renewables and 1,810 MW of storage by 2042.

This would include:

• 5,400 MW of solar and wind, and 760 MW of storage, developed 2023-2032.

• 10,000 MW of solar and wind, and 1,050 MW of storage, developed 2033-2042.

• Adds to the 3,000 MW of existing and approved solar and wind and the 1,120 MW Ludington pumped hydro storage plant, totaling 18,400 MW of renewables and 2,900 MW of storage by 2042

By 2040, the company aims to have renewables providing 60% of its power, up from the current almost 20%. The 60% mix contributes to a 90% reduction in carbon emissions, a 10-point increase compared to its previous plan.

Source: 2022 DTE Electric Integrated Resource Plan.

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