DTE Energy to implode old Detroit power plant swapped in FCA land deal

Nearby residents may hear loud noises

Aerial map view of Conners Creek Power Plant in Detroit. (Google Maps)
Aerial map view of Conners Creek Power Plant in Detroit. (Google Maps)

DETROIT – DTE Energy will demolish the old Conners Creek Power Plant in Detroit on Friday, a piece of the land exchange made with the city to make room for a new Fiat Chrysler plant.

UPDATE: Here is video of the plant imploding on Dec. 13, 2019

The plant was retired in 2008. The demolition will take place via the explosive felling process, which uses strategic explosives to bring down a structure in a controlled manner, DTE Energy says.

“Conners Creek Power Plant played an important role in the growth of Detroit and is an integral part of DTE’s history,” said Trevor Lauer, president and COO, DTE Electric. “While its time as a power plant has passed, the employees who ran it for nearly a century will be remembered and honored by all of us at DTE. We are very pleased that it continues to play a role in Detroit’s growth.”

Previous coverage: Detroit City Council approves land swap deal for FCA assembly plant

The planned demolition activities are designed to minimize the impact to the surrounding community. No major road closures will be required, however nearby residents and commuters may hear loud noises and notice temporary dust associated with the demolition event.

To ensure public safety, air quality will be monitored, no public viewing area will be available for this demolition activity, and people will not be allowed near the area, DTE says.

History of Conners Creek Power Plant

Conners Creek Power Plant, which came online in 1915, generated the energy needed for the City to take its hold as an industrial powerhouse. In its heyday, from 1915 to 1957, the plant employed more than 350 people and produced enough energy to power nearly 400,000 homes. The plant’s legacy, however, extends far beyond Detroit’s borders. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt called upon the country to support World War II, Michigan’s automobile manufacturers transitioned their plants to produce military vehicles and planes – and the Conners Creek Power Plant was critical in the success of that effort.

Conners Creek Power Plant has long played another important role – as a navigational marker for both watercraft and airplanes. The original plant had seven identical 352-foot-tall stacks known as the “Seven Sisters” that functioned as a location landmark for boats and planes. The “Seven Sisters” were demolished in 1996 along with the original plant. Since that time, the “Two Brothers” stacks, constructed during the 1950s expansion as a natural gas plant, served as a navigational guide to boaters and pilots.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.