Michigan-based utility DTE said it’s revising its carbon reduction goals by a full decade, and will push two coal plants into early retirement.
DTE wants to reduce its carbon emissions by 80% by 2040, ten years ahead of its 2017 pledge to hit that goal by 2050. The utility has submitted a new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) that’ll see more renewables and more energy-efficient solutions for customers.
“We’ve become convinced, through lots of careful study, that we can reduce carbon emissions by 80%, do it affordably, and maintain reliably at the same time,” said DTE Energy chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson, in a promotional video. “It will require a substantial investment, probably $15 billion dollars, but I firmly believe that we don’t have choose between the health of our economy and the health of our environment.”
In particular, the utility plans close its St. Clair coal power plant and its Trenton Channel coal plant in 2022, one year ahead of schedule, along with the Red River coal plant. It hopes to phase coal completely out of its generation fleet by 2040.
In the meantime, the utility will quadruple its renewable energy portfolio. DTE will invest some $2 billion in renewable energy by 2024,doubling its current renewable energy production over the next five years. It is also in the midst of an $800 million upgrade project for a hydro energy storage system.
DTE says its plan will see average annual carbon emissions drop by 400,000 tons in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, when Trenton Channel, St. Clair and the River Rouge power plants retire, DTE’s annual carbon emissions will be reduced by an additional 7.5 million tons.