DTE Energy filed a Certificate of Necessity with the Michigan Public Service Commission to build an almost $1 billion, state-of-the-art, natural gas-fired power plant of about 1,100 megawatts on existing company property in East China Township, Michigan.
According to company officials, it will provide affordable and reliable power for 850,000 homes beginning in 2022, and be built at a cost of approximately $860 per kilowatt. If approved, DTE expects plant construction to create about 500 jobs. The project is scheduled to break ground in 2019.
"A fundamental transformation in the way we produce power in Michigan has already begun. Last year, we announced three DTE coal-fired power plants will be retired by 2023 and replaced with cleaner, more efficient, reliable and affordable energy, including natural gas and renewables," said Trevor F. Lauer, DTE Electric President & COO. "This filing with the MPSC includes nearly a year of research and a competitive bidding process that determined building a natural gas-fired plant is the best solution for our customers due to many factors, including the environment, reliability and affordability."
A Certificate of Necessity is an application filed with the MPSC by an energy company seeking to purchase, contract for or build a power plant. This process is established by Michigan's 2008 energy law and further refined through the 2016 energy legislation. Upon receiving the filing, the MPSC has 270 days to review DTE's request and respond. If approved, the new gas-fired plant would be the most efficient power plant in Michigan.
"Natural gas-fired plants will be a critical part of our power generation capacity in the decades ahead," Lauer added. "Natural gas significantly reduces carbon, sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions, offers an affordable and abundant domestic supply, is easy to transport and provides a reliable 24/7 power source for our 2.2 million customers."
"DTE has been an important partner to St. Clair County for more than 60 years, both as a job creator, a responsible corporate citizen and a strong community partner," said Daniel Casey, CEO, St. Clair Economic Development Council. "We are excited about the move to cleaner energy and are thrilled that DTE has made the commitment to continue to be an integral part of our community for generations to come."
The new plant is scheduled to begin operation in 2022, offsetting some of the capacity retired when three of the company's Michigan coal-fired power plants, River Rouge, St. Clair and Trenton Channel, are removed from service in the 2020-2023 time frame.