DTE Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan (Filed March 29, 2019)
DTE Energy is the largest electric utility in Michigan, serving about 2.2 million customers in southeastern Michigan.
The integrated resource plan (IRP) is intended to be a document that assesses various options to cost-effectively serve the electricity needs of customers over the next 20 years.
DTE Energy, U-20471
On Feb. 20, 2020, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) made an initial decision on the IRP, declining to approve it and instead asking DTE to revise it in several different ways:
- Pursue competitive bidding for new power resources, allowing third-party wind and solar projects to have a chance to be considered along with utility-owned projects
- Increase annual energy saving goals from 1.65% in 2020 and 1.75% in 2021 to 1.75% in 2020 and 2% in 2021.
The IRP As Originally Proposed by DTE:
Highlights of this plan include:
- Adding 11 MW of solar plus energy storage pilot projects from 2020 to 2024
- Adding 693 MW of wind power from 2020 to 2024
- Using the MIGreenPower voluntary subscription program to add between 465 and 715 MW of wind and solar from 2020 to 2024. MIGreenPower is a program in which customers can sign up to pay an extra charge on their bills that goes toward paying for additional DTE wind and solar projects, so the exact amount of additional power is dependent on how many people subscribe.
- Many advocacy groups have criticized the methodology used by DTE, arguing it uses unrealistic assumptions that have led to DTE proposing less renewable energy than it would under different assumptions.
- Retiring coal plant units: the Trenton Channel plant in 2022, St. Clair unit 7 in 2022, St. Clair unit 1 in 2019 and repowering River Rouge unit 3 to run on recycled industrial gas and natural gas instead of coal by 2022. Belle River units 1 and 2 will not retire until 2029 and 2030, respectively, and the Monroe coal plant will run until 2040, but those dates may be reevaluated in future IRPs.
- Demand response: DTE’s demand response programs give customers that use large amounts of electricity to cut their demand at certain times to reduce pressure on the grid. The IRP proposes increasing the amount of targeted demand response from a little over 700 megawatts in 2019 to 859 MW by 2024, and then holding at that level through 2040.
- Energy Waste Reduction: The state of Michigan requires electricity providers like DTE to incrementally increase energy savings each year by the equivalent of 1% of the utility’s total retail electricity sales the previous year. The utility implements these energy waste reduction (EWR) targets through measures like rebates for customers to upgrade the efficiency of their homes or appliances.
- In 2018, DTE increased its target to 1.5% from 1%. In the IRP, DTE proposes further increasing the target to 1.625% by 2020 and 1.75% by 2021. It is worth noting, however, that Consumers Energy, the second-largest utility in the state after DTE, proposed a 2% energy waste reduction level in its recently-approved integrated resource plan.