DTE Energy Retires Two Coal Plants as Part of Its Vision to Generate Carbon-Free Power for the Grid of the Future

  • One-third of all DTE electricity now comes from carbon-free power sources, bolstering the company’s transformational net-zero plans for a more affordable, reliable grid.
  • No-layoff commitment ensures displaced workers opportunities elsewhere at DTE.

PVTIME DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE), Michigan’s largest producer of clean energy, today announced the retirement of two coal-fired power plants, bringing Southeast Michigan closer to a carbon-free future with more affordable and reliable energy. DTE is also retraining displaced workers for jobs elsewhere in the company.

The retirement of the Trenton Channel and St. Clair coal power plants marks a significant milestone on DTE’s transformational plans to reach net zero, with nearly one-third of all electricity generated by the electric company now coming from carbon-free resources, such as wind, solar and nuclear energy. This past summer, DTE began the long-planned retirement of both plants, placing the St. Clair Power facility on standby-only status to meet periods of high customer demand or extreme temperatures. With the year drawing to a close, DTE has officially retired both plants, and employees at both locations were offered opportunities to continue to work for the enterprise.

“Retiring these plants is another step in DTE’s plan to deliver affordable, reliable and clean energy through a modern grid that meets the needs of our customers’ changing lifestyles and our state’s new economy,” said Jerry Norcia, chairman and chief executive officer, DTE Energy. “These steps today will lead to a cleaner environment and energy future for Michigan families, communities and businesses.”

For nearly 100 years, the St. Clair and Trenton Channel power plants proudly served southeast Michigan residents. Built to address the growth of Michigan’s post-World War I & II economy, the Trenton Channel Power Plant (operated from 1924 – 2022) and St. Clair Power Plant (operated from 1953 – 2022) were witnesses to history.

At the time of its commissioning, the Trenton Channel plant was the fourth major power plant Detroit Edison (now DTE Energy) put into operation and the largest project the company had undertaken. With the expansion of Trenton Channel in 1950, the facility generated 1,060 MW of energy for customers. Following the end of the Second World War, the St. Clair plant was commissioned, and at its peak, provided nearly 2,000 MW of electricity to power the growth of Michigan’s businesses and manufacturing sector. As Michigan’s need for electricity grew over the decades, DTE’s employees at both Trenton Channel and St. Clair served the company’s customers and communities throughout southeast Michigan.

“We’re proud of the legacy and role of these plants, which served our country in times of war and provided the critical energy required to fuel Michigan’s industrial heartland for decades—supporting generations of Michiganders and the businesses and factories that have made our great state a global leader,” added Norcia. “We’re grateful to the thousands of employees and retirees who worked at the Trenton Channel and St. Clair power plants through the years and who will continue to move on with us as we maintain the tradition of adapting to anticipate and meet our state’s changing energy needs. We also want to extend our appreciation to St. Clair County and the City of Trenton for being great hosts and long-time partners to DTE.”

With this announcement, DTE continues to make progress on its clean energy journey by transitioning from coal to cleaner sources of energy such as renewables and natural gas. On November 3, DTE released its CleanVision Integrated Resource Plan, a 20-year proposal to dramatically transform how the Company generates electricity as part of its clean energy journey, all while investing in a modern grid that is reliable and affordable.

Key highlights of the Company’s proposal include:

  • Generating reliable electricity through a balanced and diverse mix of cleaner energy.
  • Surpassing the Company’s previously announced carbon emission (CO2) reduction goals by targeting 65% in 2028, 85% in 2035, 90% by 2040 and net zero by 2050. [1]
  • Developing more than 15,000 MW of wind and solar energy to power Michigan homes and businesses. This renewable energy generation is equivalent to the electricity needed to power approximately 4 million homes.
  • Reducing the cost of the clean energy transition by a projected $1.4 billion [2]
  • Repurposing the Company’s existing Belle River Power Plant to run on natural gas instead of coal, which will significantly reduce emissions while providing energy as needed to meet periods of high customer demand.
  • Ending the use of coal in 2035 through a responsible, phased retirement schedule at the Company’s Monroe Power Plant – nearly 12 years earlier than planned.
  • Investing $9 billion into Michigan’s economy over the next 10 years, supporting more than 25,000 jobs, all while reducing the cost of our clean energy transition by a projected $1.4 billion [3] from our 2019 plan.