Michigan PSC approves DTE Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan, setting path to net zero emissions by 2050

Published on July 28, 2023 by Chris Galford

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DTE Energy received approval for its CleanVision Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) this week from the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), greenlighting a clean energy plan that will speed the end of coal and cut emissions sooner.

After two years of development, and a settlement with nearly two dozen organizations, the 20-year plan calls for increased investments into Michigan-made solar and wind energy, a shorter timeline for coal plant retirements, developing energy storage and directing $110 million in additional support to DTE’s most vulnerable customers. DTE now seeks to reduce carbon emissions by 65 percent as of 2028, 85 percent by 2032, 90 percent by 2040 and, ultimately, achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Those figures stem from a 2005 baseline.

“This has been a collaborative process, with input from key stakeholders, to ensure we have the best plan possible for our 2.3 million customers and the state of Michigan,” Jerry Norcia, chairman and CEO of DTE Energy, said. “We are transforming how we generate electricity – with the goal of getting as clean as we can as fast as we can – while ensuring we continue to produce energy that is reliable and affordable.”

Building on this, an approved settlement agreement will see the Monroe Power Plant units 3 and 4 retired by Dec. 31, 2028, and the remaining units by Dec. 31, 2032. The diesel-fueled River Rouge and St. Clair peaker plants will be eliminated in 2024. Additionally, the coal-fired Belle River Power Plant will be transformed into a 1,270 MW natural gas peaker plant, to be used less frequently for times of highest electric demand, and $125 million have been approved for the plant’s conversion between 2025 and 2026.

While coal heads out the door, DTE plans to add more than 15,000 MW of solar and wind energy generation across the state by 2042. That will be gradual, though – 600 MW per year from 2026 through 2028, followed by 1,000 MW per year in 2029 and 2030, to start. Approximately 30 percent of that will be sourced through power purchase agreements. Another 1,800 MW of energy storage should be added by 2042, as the distributed generation cap goes up and energy waste reduction targets along with it.

IRPs like this represent long-term forecasts of how to maintain reliable service for 20 year periods. As created under Michigan’s 2016 energy laws, each electric utility with rates regulated by the MPSC must file. DTE’s next IRP will be due by December 2026, and for that showing, it has agreed to develop an outreach and engagement plan on how to boost input from and participation by members of overburdened communities.