DTE invests $2 billion in Monroe over past 10 years - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

DTE invests $2 billion in Monroe over past 10 years

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Obviously there are air conditioners running all around the region right now and DTE's Monroe Power Plant provides a lot of the energy in Southeast Michigan to make that happen. Most of us don't think much about it when we turn on things like the lights or air conditioning but after a look behind the scenes at the plant you may have a new appreciation for what goes into making that happen.

The Monroe Power Plant is the largest in DTE's fleet. Skiles Boyd is the DTE Vice President of Environmental Resources and Management,"The Monroe plant generates about 30% of the electricity used in our service area."

In the last decade DTE has invested about 2 billion dollars at the plant. It has been used for environmental control equipment at the facility. Boyd says it is the first coal fired plant in Michigan to use what are known as scrubbers to significantly reduce sulfur dioxide emissions, "We've reduced our emissions at this plant by well over 90%."

There are also systems in place that cut down on nitrogen oxide and mercury emissions. Frank Warren is the DTE Vice President of Fossil Generation, "We plan on continuing to invest in not only technology but also our operations. All of that rolled together makes the Monroe plant the efficient and effective plant it is."

Even as the electricity generated at the plant is providing cold air for a lot of us right now, it is extremely hot inside. Warren says temperatures can get as high as 140 degrees , "The temperature inside depending on what floor you are on can be 30-40 degrees hotter than the ambient temperature. For example, on the 10th floor today the thermometer hit the 118-120 degree mark. On some summer days it can hit 140 degrees in the top floors of the plant." 

With heat like that Boyd says a number of special procedures are in place for employees, "We supply things like ice vests and limit the time people are working in hot areas. We do everything we can to make sure our employees are protected." They also provide things like water and popsicles to the workers.

As you heard, the Monroe plant supplies electricity to 30 percent of DTE's customers in Southeastern Michigan. That equals about 630,000 customers.

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