DTE Energy has completed a project at the Monroe Power Plant to significantly reduce emissions and improve air quality in the region, making the coal-fired plant one of the cleanest in the country.
The Monroe plant is the first in Michigan to operate best-in-class systems that reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by about 90 percent and sulfur dioxide emissions by about 97 percent. Combined, the selective catalytic reduction and flue gas desulfurization systems also eliminate 75- to 90-percent of mercury emissions.
"The Monroe Power Plant is a cornerstone of DTE Energy's generating fleet," said Frank Warren, DTE Energy vice president of fossil generation. "The start-up of the last selective catalytic reduction system helps us reach our goal of making one of the country's largest coal-fired plants also one of the cleanest."
Since 2000, DTE Energy has invested close to $2 billion on environmental upgrades at the plant, which is the largest generating plant in Michigan and the fifth-largest in the country. The installation of these systems has been a boost to the local and regional economies, resulting in more than 900 skilled trades workers at the peak of construction.
The emissions control equipment is changing the appearance of the landmark Monroe plant. To support operation of the flue gas desulfurization systems, two new 580-foot tall chimneys were constructed. Residents and passers-by see a white cloud of water vapor from them whenever the units are generating power. The last remaining 800-foot original stack is in the process of being taken down.
"It is an exciting time in the industry, and the emission controls we have put in place are world class," said Skiles Boyd, DTE Energy vice president of environmental management and resources. "This allows DTE to continue giving our customers reliable, affordable energy while minimizing any impact on the environment. We are proud of DTE's role in improving air quality in Michigan, which is better today than it has been in the last 40 years due in large part to emissions reductions at our coal-fired power plants."