Michigan utilities move forward with coal phase-out plans

first_imgMichigan utilities move forward with coal phase-out plans FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Crain’s Detroit Business:Renewable energy had a major moment last year when Michigan’s major utilities announced they would end the use of coal as an electricity generator by 2040.For 2019, the race will be on in earnest by large public utilities like DTE Energy Co. and Consumers Energy Co. to begin replacing retiring coal plants, partly with renewable energy sources including solar and wind power, along with ramped-up efficiency programs to help residential and business customers reduce electricity use.But what Michigan’s two biggest utilities are planning over the next several decades flies in the face of what the Donald Trump administration announced in December. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it will reverse the Barack Obama administration’s coal emissions rule to ease restrictions on the nation’s coal industry, a move condemned by environmentalists and renewable energy advocates.However, top executives of DTE and Consumers have told Crain’s in previous interviews that their companies plan to move forward in replacing more than two dozen aging and inefficient coal-fired plants regardless of what the federal government does or doesn’t do.Consumers Energy has said it plans to retire its five remaining coal-fired plants from 2021 to 2040 and replace them with renewable energy, primarily wind and solar, along with supercharged programs to improve efficiency, demand response, advanced energy saving technology and regional market purchases. Other utilities around the country are taking similar tacks to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.DTE Energy has announced plans to retire three coal plants — River Rouge, St. Clair and Trenton — which will all be closed between 2020 and 2023. Two other plants in Belle River and Monroe will close in 2030 and 2040, respectively. Interim plans call for DTE replacing much of the generation by building at least one and possibly two natural gas-fired plants, quadrupling renewable energy generation, increasing electricity efficiency programs and by using other technology to boost clean power.More: Race is on by Michigan utilities to end coal uselast_img

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