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DTE Energy changes renewable generation plans

wind turbines and solar panels in a field
Adobe Stock

Utility companies are required to file long-term plans with the state government. DTE Energy filed a plan in 2018 and the Michigan Public Service Commission had concerns. One of them was DTE’s plans to meet Michigan’s 15 percent renewable energy requirement. The Commission thought DTE’s numbers were vague.

Irene Dimitry is Vice President of Renewable Energy with DTE. She says the company’s new plans have better numbers.

“We’ve gotten actual bids with real numbers and real costs and we used that information to update our plan. And that’s what we filed,” she said.

With that, the proposed plan changed.

“So, instead of the prior plan being two wind projects, [it] became one wind project and two solar projects based on the competitive bidding that we had done,” Dimitry said.

While that adds 350 megawatts of energy, the equivalent of 112,000 averaged-sized Michigan homes, environmental groups think DTE could have done better. The Michigan League of Conservation Voters’ Nick Dodge says DTE should consider more renewable energy.

"We’re seeing that clean renewable energy is cheaper than coal and cost competitive with natural gas,” he said.

Environmental groups have other concerns about other issues before the Public Service Commission, including limits on the size of solar powered arrays and monthly fees DTE has proposed for home rooftop solar generation.

DTE is one of Michigan Radio's corporate sponsors.

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Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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