DTE Energy has received approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission on the company’s plan to accelerate coal plant retirements and clean energy investments.
Earlier in July DTE Energy reached a proposed settlement agreement with multiple parties to end litigation over the utility’s Integrated Resource Plan.
As part of the agreement, the Michigan-based utility solidified its proposal to retire half of the Monroe coal plant 12 years earlier than previously planned and accelerated the retirement of the final two units of Monroe to 2032.
Monroe units 3 and 4 will now be retired by 2028, with units 1 and 2 closing four years later.
The Monroe plant entered service in 1971 and has a combined generating capacity of 3,400 MW.
DTE also agreed to reconfigure its Belle River coal-fired power plant to run on natural gas. Belle River Unit 1 was completed in 1984, and was followed by a similar Unit 2 in 1985. Each has a nameplate capacity of 697.5 MW. In 1999, three peaker units were added, with a total nameplate capacity of 256 MWe.
As part of the proposed agreement, the utility said it will increase its near-term investments in solar, wind, storage, and energy efficiency. It also agreed to seek approval of its next Integrated Resource Plan by December 2026, with a commitment to study an even earlier retirement of, and clean energy replacement for, the final Monroe units.
DTE also said it would direct an additional $70 million in energy efficiency funding toward programs for income-qualified customers, and retire in 2024 a gas-fired peaking unit in an environmental justice community in River Rouge.
DTE had planned to continue operating the Monroe plant until 2040. Two of Monroe’s four coal burning generating units will now retire in 2028, with the other two in 2032.
The settlement agreement will require approval by the Michigan Public Service Commission. It was reached among DTE Electric, MPSC staff, Attorney General Dana Nessel, representatives of Michigan’s environmental community, business and labor organizations, and energy industry associations.
The utility agreed to develop more than 15,000 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2042. It also said it would speed up the development of energy storage capacity, targeting 780 MWs through 2030 with a goal of more than 1,800 MW by 2042.
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