DTE Energy closing its River Rouge plant after 65 years

Officials say the closure is a milestone in the company’s clean energy transition


RIVER ROUGE, Mich.DTE Energy announced Friday that it will close the River Rouge coal-fired power plant after 65 years in operation.

According to a press release, the closure of the plant is a milestone in the company’s clean energy transition that includes increased investments in wind and solar, utilizing cleaner natural gas, and operating its carbon-free Fermi nuclear plant.

The plant is one of three coal-fired plants that the company is shutting down over the next two years.

READ: DTE Energy launches Tree Trim Academy to create 200 jobs in Detroit by 2024

“As Michigan’s need for electricity grew over the decades, our employees at River Rouge worked together to serve our customers and communities as an engine of progress,” said Jerry Norcia, president and CEO of DTE Energy. “Now that this plant has achieved its generation lifespan and we move into the next evolution of power generation, I would like to thank the men and women who gave their energy to the plant over the years and to the communities that supported them. The people who have been the backbone of our River Rouge operation will always be in our hearts and minds, and they have our company’s gratitude.”

The plant has been in operation since 1956 and was constructed on 100 acres on the banks of the Detroit River in the city of River Rouge. It went into commercial operation two years later with two generating units of 260 megawatts and 320 megawatts.

It supplied its last megawatt of power on May 31.

“DTE is proud to be Michigan’s largest producer of wind and solar energy and within two years, we will generate enough renewable energy to power approximately 900,000 homes,” Norcia said. “We firmly believe that our clean energy generation transformation is the right thing to do for our customers and the communities we serve. That’s why we are doing as much as we can, as fast as we can, to provide our customers and the state of Michigan with clean energy that is affordable and reliable.”

About the Author:

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.