Lowering Our Use of Coal to Generate Power

Coal-fired power plants have been a major source of energy for American homes and businesses for more than a century. Today, DTE Energy is pursuing an overarching fundamental transformation in the way we produce power by significantly lowering our use of coal to generate electricity.

By 2023, DTE will have retired 11 of its 17 coal-fired units and replaced that capacity with a mix of clean, sustainable energy sources.

Lowering the use of coal is part of a DTE’s commitment to generate more power through renewable energy production.

How It Works

In a coal-fired power plant, electricity is generated in a process quite similar to how we produce electricity at other power plants. The fuel is burned to create steam which is used to spin a turbine.

Burning the Fuel

First, the coal is pulverized into a fine powder. It’s then mixed with oxygen and blown into the firebox inside the boiler.

Water is heated by pumping it through pipes inside the boiler. The water is boiled into high-temperature, high-pressure steam. This pressurized steam then spins a giant turbine creating electricity.

The steam is then cooled back into water and returned to the cycle.

Future of Coal

DTE is a committed leader in the advancement of sustainable, clean power. As we continue to lower our use of coal, we are replacing that capacity with a mix of newer, more modern and cleaner sources of energy generation such as wind, natural gas and solar.

DTE’s investments in renewable energy in Michigan provide enough clean energy to power more than 400,000 homes.

Learn More

Learn more about the coal consumption in the United States by visiting the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s website.