Energy company retiring coal-burning plants

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TRENTON – The coal-burning DTE Energy power plant in Trenton will be retired by 2023, as the power company confirmed closure of eight units at three Michigan sites.

Eight power units are slated to close between 2020 and 2023 in Trenton, River Rouge and East China Township as part of a shift to cleaner energy sources.

DTE announced last week that the three sites – which last year generated about 25 percent of the electricity produced by the company – had provided energy for customers since the 1950s and will be retired as newer forms of producing power are installed.

“The way DTE generates electricity will change as much in the next 10 years as any other period in our history,” DTE Energy Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson said in a statement.

The company plans to replace coal-fired units with plants that produce power through wind, natural gas and solar devices.

“We have known this retirement in Trenton was coming for a long time,” U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) said in a statement. “We will be working with DTE, Mayor Kyle Stack and all stakeholders to minimize the negative impact on the community, help Trenton take advantage of opportunities in the new energy economy, and keep the Downriver economy strong.”

Earlier this year, DTE closed several coal-burning plants due to age and costs. Nearly a dozen aging, coal-burning units will be replaced with a combination of clean-energy generators.

While representing what city officials consider a positive trend in clean energy, the DTE plant was among the industries in the city that represented a $32 million decline in taxable values last year.

(James Mitchell can be reached at james.a.mitchell37@gmail.com.)

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