Detroit’s DTE Energy Plans to Reduce Carbon Emissions 80% by 2040

Detroit’s DTE Energy has announced its new goal to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2040, accelerating the carbon reduction commitment it made to Michigan residents and businesses two years ago by a decade.
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DTE wind energy
DTE Energy plans to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2040. // Photo courtesy of DTE Energy

Detroit’s DTE Energy has announced its new goal to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2040, accelerating the carbon reduction commitment it made to Michigan residents and businesses two years ago by a decade.

The company’s Integrated Resource Plan is being submitted to the Michigan Public Service Commission today. It outlines the steps it will take over the next five years and beyond. DTE plans to reduce carbon emissions at least 50 percent by 2030. Its previous carbon reduction commitment was 45 percent by that time.

“In Michigan, we are in the midst of a fundamental energy transformation,” says 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 percent by 2050. Our plan has evolved, and we now are accelerating that goal by a decade. 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.”

DTE’s plan includes accelerating coal plant retirements and investing $2 billion in renewable energy by 2024. The company plans to close the St. Clair Power Plant and the Trenton Channel Power Plant in 2022, a year ahead of schedule. The River Rouge Power Plant will also be retired in 2022. DTE plans to provide training opportunities for employees to find new roles within the company in an effort to avoid layoffs. It also expects to continue hiring during this timeframe due to anticipated retirements.

By the time DTE removes all coal from its generation fleet in 2040, its renewable energy portfolio will have quadrupled. The company will more than double its renewable energy production over the next five years, generating enough clean energy to power 800,000 Michigan homes.

DTE will also offer homes and businesses the opportunity to buy more clean energy. Its MIGreenPower program has allowed Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. to reach 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.

After committing to reduce energy usage by 1.5 percent each year within its service area by working with customers to help them save energy, DTE has upped its goal to 1.75 percent per year.

The company also will invest in hydro energy storage to ensure reliability. An $800-million upgrade project is on schedule at the Ludington, Mich. pumped storage facility, co-owned by DTE and Consumers Energy. The facility acts as a giant battery that can be tapped when renewable output drops, releasing water to generate electricity. When the project is complete in 2020, Ludington will generate enough power to serve 175,000 DTE households.

DTE’s plan focuses on the next five years and considers the most affordable and reliable mix of sources currently available. The company will continue to evaluate and refine future options to meet its commitment as technology develops and costs decline.

With the plan, DTE’s average annual carbon emissions will drop by 400,000 tons in 2020 and 2021. When the three plants retire in 2022, DTE’s annual carbon emissions will be reduced by an additional 7.5 million tons, or 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,” says Anderson. “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.”

The Michigan legislature passed a 2016 energy law that requires energy companies in the state to file an Integrated Resource Plan every five years.

More information about DTE’s plan is available here.

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