DTE to close Monroe coal plant by 2032

Environmental groups say the plant is the third biggest polluter in the country

DTE Headquarters in downtown Detroit.

DTE Headquarters in downtown Detroit.

DTE Energy’s Monroe Power Plant will retire two of its units in 2028 and will ultimately close in 2032. This is twelve years earlier than originally stated in DTE’s Integrated Resource Plan, or IRP, which was filed in November.

“Our CleanVision Integrated Resource Plan will end our use of coal in 2032 while developing enough Michigan-made renewables to power approximately 4 million homes,” says Jerry Norcia, chairman and chief executive officer of DTE Energy.

Environmental nonprofits, such as the Sierra Club, intervened in the proceeding at the Michigan Public Service Commission to craft a plan that they feel better serves the people and the environment of Southeast Michigan.

“Every year earlier that a coal plant retires is saved lives, it’s better public health impact and it’s less climate pollution,” says Shannon Fisk, a lead attorney at the environmental group Earthjustice which represents Sierra Club.

Read: Amid frequent outages, Michiganders question the value of public energy utilities

Earthjustice says the plant is the third biggest polluter in the country. Fisk says he hopes its closure in Michigan will set an example for other states.

“In 2032, the state will be 100% coal free. So, the state will no longer be relying on dirty, expensive 18th century technology for its power. That’s a huge victory. That’s good for public health, good for the climate, and actually saves the customers money,” says Fisk.

While the coal plant’s closure puts DTE on a path to replace the plant with clean energy, the decision is still undecided.

“It will be up to the implementation and it will be up to the utilities at the commission and state lawmakers to make sure that we’re accelerating the clean energy build out as quickly as possible,” says Fisk.

Earthjustice says the best course of action residents can take to prevent this is to contact elected officials and advocate for clean energy.

The new plant closure date in the IRP still needs to be approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

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