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DTE Energy retires 2 coal power plants in SE Michigan, focuses on becoming carbon-free

(CBS DETROIT) - DTE Energy announced Thursday it is closing down two coal plants as it works to become more carbon-free in Southeast Michigan.

According to a press release, the company retired the Trenton Channel and St. Clair coal power plants. Employees from both locations were offered opportunities to continue working with the company.

This comes after DTE announced it would retire three coal power plants in two years. In May 2021, the company retired the River Rouge coal power plant, which went into operation in 1958.

"Retiring these plants is another step in DTE's plan to deliver affordable, reliable and clean energy through a modern grid that meets the needs of our customers' changing lifestyles and our state's new economy," Jerry Norcia, chairman and chief executive officer of DTE Energy, said in a press release. "These steps today will lead to a cleaner environment and energy future for Michigan families, communities and businesses."

Our Trenton Channel and St. Clair coal-fired power plants are officially retired, and we’re proud of their legacy of...

Posted by DTE Energy on Thursday, December 8, 2022

The Trenton Channel and St. Clair plants have operated since 1924 and 1953 respectively. Officials say the company opened the plants to address the growth of the state's economy post-World War I and World War II.

"We're proud of the legacy and role of these plants, which served our country in times of war and provided the critical energy required to fuel Michigan's industrial heartland for decades—supporting generations of Michiganders and the businesses and factories that have made our great state a global leader," Norcia said. 

"We're grateful to the thousands of employees and retirees who worked at the Trenton Channel and St. Clair power plants through the years and who will continue to move on with us as we maintain the tradition of adapting to anticipate and meet our state's changing energy needs. We also want to extend our appreciation to St. Clair County and the City of Trenton for being great hosts and long-time partners to DTE."

With the closures, DTE says it will focus on progressing to clean energy. In November, the company released its CleanVision plan, which will invest in solar and wind energy as well as modern grid that they say will be reliable and affordable. 

Additionally, 7-Eleven announced in October its enrollment in MIGreenPower, DTE's renewable energy program. The corporation pledged to achieve 100% renewable energy for all of its locations in Southeast Michigan for 20 years, beginning in 2025.

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