DTE plans to double its renewable energy capacity by early 2020s

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DTE’s actions to reduce carbon emissions continue to advance with a recent company filing to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) that outlines the company’s plans to double renewable energy capacity by 2022 to 2,000 megawatts – enough clean energy to power over 800,000 homes.

If approved by the MPSC, the plan will do more than provide DTE customers with cleaner energy; it will also benefit the economy, driving investment of more than $1.7 billion in Michigan.

“The plan we filed marks another significant step toward our goal of cutting carbon emissions by more than 80 percent by 2050 while continuing to deliver reliable and affordable power for our 2.2 million customers,” DTE Energy Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson said.  “Beyond this plan, DTE will continue to add additional renewable energy resources,” Anderson said. “Reducing our company’s carbon emissions and developing cleaner sources of energy is a key priority for us. This work will also bring positive economic impacts through job creation and local community revenue.”

Highlights of the plan include:

  • Bringing online the Pine River wind park later this year, and the Polaris wind park in 2020. Together, the parks will have the capability of generating 330 megawatts and will be DTE’s largest and most efficient wind parks to date.
  • Building two additional wind parks that will provide a combined 375 megawatts and begin operation in 2021 and 2022.
  • Adding 300 megawatts of new wind capacity in 2020 to supply a new voluntary renewable energy program for designed specifically for large customers seeking to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Installing 15 megawatts of new Michigan-based solar capacity over the next three years, increasing DTE’s solar capacity by almost 25 percent over the next three years.
  • Launching a pilot program for battery storage technology aimed at improving the reliability of energy provided from wind and solar power.

DTE studied the engineering and the economics of Michigan’s energy future for two years before announcing last year its initiative to reduce carbon emissions by more than 80 percent by 2050 – a timeframe that aligns with what scientists broadly have identified as necessary to help address climate change. To meet its carbon reduction goal, DTE will fundamentally transform its generation fleet, producing over three-quarters of its power from renewable energy and highly efficient natural gas-fired power plants.

“We’ve concluded not only that the 80 percent reduction goal is achievable, it is achievable in a way that ensures Michigan’s power is safe, secure, affordable, reliable – and sustainable,” Anderson said. “There doesn’t have to be a choice between a healthy environment and a healthy economy, although the debate often gets framed that way. We can have both, if we invest in a smart way.”