EAST CHINA TOWNSHIP, Mich., Aug. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- DTE Energy today took a significant step toward its goal of reducing carbon emissions by more than 80 percent by breaking ground on a state-of-the-art, $1 billion natural gas-fueled plant. The Blue Water Energy Center will be the most efficient power plant in the state when it begins producing affordable and reliable low-emission electricity for 850,000 homes starting in 2022.
"Just over a year ago, DTE first announced a broad sustainability initiative to reduce carbon emissions by more than 80 percent and do it in a way that maintains affordability and reliability for our customers," said Gerry Anderson, chairman and CEO, DTE Energy. "In fact, we're already doing it. Since 2009 we have driven investments of more than $2.5 billion in renewable energy with more investments coming. But as we continue to retire coal-fired power plants – all of them by 2040 – we need to complement wind farms and solar arrays with high reliability assets. As we Michiganders know well, the wind doesn't always blow, and the sun doesn't always shine in our beautiful state. And that's why we need natural gas-fueled plants like the Blue Water Energy Center. When it begins operations in 2022, it will represent our single largest step in reducing carbon emissions to date."
The plant will be built by Kiewit Engineering (MI) Co., a Kiewit company. The company will spend a minimum of $200 million on Michigan-based labor and materials, and has begun the pre-qualification process for local sub-contractors. Additionally, GE Power, a world leader in power generation and water technologies for utilities, independent power producers and industrial applications, has been chosen to provide the major generation equipment. More than 500 Michigan skilled labor jobs will be created during construction beginning in spring 2019 and an additional 35 full-time positions will be filled when the plant becomes operational in 2022.
"The new, cleaner natural gas power plant will create hundreds of jobs and provide additional revenue that we can put toward improving our roads, schools and other essential services," said St. Clair County Commissioner Jeff Bohm. "This $1 billion investment is a significant boost to our community and helps assure continued job growth while ensuring we can meet our state's energy needs."
Blue Water Energy Center, unanimously approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) earlier this year, is expected be the most fuel-efficient power plant in Michigan. It will run on natural gas and use combined-cycle technology that captures waste heat to produce additional electricity. The plant will be 70 percent cleaner and 40 percent more efficient than the three coal-fired plants DTE plans to retire by 2023. It is a critical component of a balanced energy mix that provides 24/7, always available power generation required when wind turbines and solar arrays are unable to produce electricity due to weather conditions or time of day.
Already a significant producer of renewable energy, DTE has announced plans to double its renewable energy capacity by 2022 to 2,000 megawatts – providing enough additional electricity to power 800,000 homes, while driving investments of more than $1.7 billion in Michigan. Within the next year, DTE will begin operating the Pine River and Polaris wind parks, which will have a combined capacity of 330 megawatts and be DTE's largest and most efficient wind parks to date.
"The Blue Water Energy Center not only represents our commitment to a cleaner energy future, but our commitment to the St. Clair community. DTE has been part of this community for 65 years and we intend to continue to be a force for growth and prosperity here for a long time to come," Anderson said.
About DTE Energy
DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.3 million customers in Michigan. The DTE Energy portfolio includes non-utility energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy marketing and trading. As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy.
Kiewit is one of North America's largest and most respected construction and engineering organizations. With its roots dating back to 1884, the employee-owned organization operates through a network of subsidiaries in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Kiewit offers construction and engineering services in a variety of markets including transportation; oil, gas and chemical; power; building; water/wastewater; and mining. Kiewit had 2017 revenues of $8.7 billion and employs 22,000 staff and craft employees.
About GE Power
GE Power is a world leader in power generation with deep domain expertise to help customers deliver electricity from a wide spectrum of fuel sources. We are transforming the electricity industry with the digital power plant, the world's largest and most efficient gas turbine, full balance of plant, upgrade and service solutions as well as our data-leveraging software. Our innovative technologies and digital offerings help make power more affordable, reliable, accessible and sustainable.
SOURCE DTE Energy