DTE Energy, Michigan's largest electricity supplier, on Tuesday announced plans for a dramatic transformation of its power generation — an 80% reduction in carbon emissions and the shuttering of all of its coal-fired power plants by 2050.
The $15 billion proposal would leave customers of the nation's seventh-largest energy utility receiving 40% of their power from new, natural gas-fired power plants; 40% from renewable energy, made possible by a dramatic increase in primarily wind power; and 20% from nuclear, the company's existing Fermi II nuclear plant.
"Climate change is a big deal — I think it's the defining policy issue of our era; certainly for the energy industry, it is the defining policy issue," said DTE Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson. "Both I personally and the senior leadership of this company believe we have a responsibility, and believe the country has a responsibility, to address this."
The utility is also motivated by stark reality: seven major, aging, coal-fired power plants that would soon require expensive upgrades.