DTE Energy breaks ground on $1 billion natural gas plant in St. Clair Co.

EAST CHINA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - DTE Energy broke ground on a massive $1 billion natural gas power plant in East China Township on Tuesday afternoon.

The Blue Water Energy Center will help DTE meet its goal of reducing carbon emissions by more than 80 percent and be the most efficient power plant in the state.

It plans to provide electricity for 850,000 homes by 2022.

Michigan-based company Kiewit Engineering will build the plant and spend a minimum of $200 million on Michigan-based labor and materials. They have started the pre-qualification process for local sub-contractors.

For the major generation equipment, GE Power will be the provider.

"The new, cleaner natural gas power plant will create hundreds of jobs and provide additional revenue that we can put toward improving our roads, schools and other essential services," said St. Clair County Commissioner Jeff Bohm. "This $1 billion investment is a significant boost to our community and helps assure continued job growth while ensuring we can meet our state's energy needs."

The plant was unanimously approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission earlier this year and will run on natural gas, using combined-cycle technology that captures waste heat to produce additional electricity.

It will be 40 percent more efficient and 70 percent cleaner than the three coal-fired plants DTE plans to retire by 2023.

"The Blue Water Energy Center not only represents our commitment to a cleaner energy future, but our commitment to the St. Clair community. DTE has been part of this community for 65 years and we intend to continue to be a force for growth and prosperity here for a long time to come," Anderson said.
 

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