Stakeholders in Michigan worked with DTE Electric to accelerate retirement of coal-fired power plants to align with the Michigan Healthy Climate Plan's emissions reduction goals.
DETROIT, MI – Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC), Institute for Energy Innovation (IEI), Advanced Energy United, and Clean Grid Alliance, in addition to other parties, reached a settlement with DTE Electric (DTE) regarding its Integrated Resource Plan last week, leading to significant gains toward reducing emissions, expanding opportunities for advanced energy businesses and technologies, and fulfilling the goals of the Michigan Healthy Climate Plan. The settlement terms accelerate the retirement of the coal-fired Monroe Power Plant, as well as require DTE to pursue federal funding to offset and retire even more coal facilities. After the plan is approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission, the utility will be making major investments in new large-scale renewable energy projects within the next 20 years and developing battery storage capacity.
Additionally significant is the requirement for DTE to increase its demand response targets over the next five years via competitive third-party solicitations agreed to in the settlement. These terms will create a new competitive marketplace by drawing investments in technologies and programs that balance the demand on the power grid, particularly during peak hours.
The settlement also increases the distributed generation cap for DTE from 1% of the 5-year average load to 6% of the 5-year average load. This means that customers and small businesses will be able to install rooftop solar systems in DTE’s territory for a number of years without fear of hitting the limit on the number of installations. It will also allow solar businesses to grow, hiring more workers and taking advantage of significant federal funding opportunities.
“This settlement is an important step in the right direction for Michigan and will keep pressure on DTE to continue to make progress toward decarbonization and meeting the goals of the Michigan Healthy Climate Plan,” said Sean R. Brady, Director of Regulatory Advocacy for Clean Grid Alliance. “We are particularly glad to see the accelerated development of 400 MW of renewable energy resources to begin five years earlier than originally proposed, as well as the 780 MW of utility-scale storage between 2025 and 2030. These agreements will help achieve Michigan's Healthy Climate Plan and contribute to the nation's clean energy transition. We thank all parties for working together on solutions to better the lives of all Michiganders.”
Integrated resource planning is a critical part of the clean energy transition, obligating Michigan’s utilities, like DTE, to forecast their needs and resources for the future. These cases provide the public, interested parties, and the Michigan Public Service Commission the ability to help guide Michigan’s utilities toward alternative clean energy solutions and other beneficial policy choices. The settlement agreement filed on July 12 is now before the Michigan Public Service Commission to review and approve.
“The transition to clean energy in Michigan has been underway for some time. This settlement further accelerates these market trends while emphasizing cost-effectiveness, ensuring customers aren’t disproportionately impacted and enjoy the benefits of the cost savings built into the plan,” said Trish Demeter, Managing Director with Advanced Energy United.
“The gains from this settlement for Michigan, its residents, and its economy will be enormously beneficial. Based on our negotiations, this settlement will give businesses the opportunity to grow due to the big investments DTE will be making in renewables, energy storage, and other clean energy technologies,” added Dr. Laura Sherman, President of Michigan EIBC and IEI. “We look forward to the Michigan Public Service Commission ratifying this settlement agreement as soon as possible.”
By agreeing to the settlement terms, DTE will reduce its carbon emissions cost-effectively, especially those produced by some of the oldest and most-polluting plants in the state still fired by coal. The settlement will also allow for new technologies and practices, like demand response, to reduce how much energy is needed to be produced by power plants in the future. This, in turn, will expand the energy marketplace, creating industries and jobs throughout the state.