“DTE Electric has agreed to shut down its Monroe coal-fired power plant three years ahead of schedule under a settlement agreement with environmental, business and labor groups filed Wednesday with the Michigan Public Service Commission. The company will also convert its coal-fired Belle River plant to gas under the agreement.
The agreement includes a substantial investment in renewable energy and storage. DTE would develop or purchase 3800 megawatts of renewable energy by 2030 – 400 more than initially proposed, enough to power more than 650,000 homes. It will also develop or purchase 780 MW of storage.
DTE also agreed to invest $70 million in low-income energy efficiency programs, contribute $30 million to organizations that provide bill assistance, and $8 million to organizations that assist low-income customers with energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy, or battery technology.
Detroit advocates called the deal a victory while noting its limitations and drawbacks.
“DTE is receiving favorable financial treatment on their retiring coal plants that effectively protect their shareholders from the worst impacts of their poor investments while not extending the same fiscal protection to ratepayers,” Soulardarity and We Want Green Too said in a statement. The groups also noted that DTE won permission to convert the Monroe to a temporary gas peaker plant – a plant used for short periods during peak demand – and expects that the company will return to the MPSC to seek approval for a new gas plant to replace the capacity at Monroe.
Advocates said the agreement needs to go further.
“We’re looking to the Michigan legislature to advance the kind of bold clean energy agenda that Michiganders have made clear they’re ready for,” said Will Kenworthy, a senior regulatory director for the Midwest for Vote Solar, which is one of the intervenors in the case.”
Read the full article at Planet Detroit