DTE Energy’s current proposal to build a massive gas plant in St. Clair County is unnecessary and counterproductive when current clean energy programs are set to create more jobs and drive Michigan’s economy into the next decade.

Our Detroit-based GreenLancer.com has facilitated the permitting for thousands of solar developers, in Michigan and nationwide. We’ve seen firsthand how Michigan’s clean energy sector grows state and local economies, creates jobs and reduces costs for ratepayers.

GreenLancer was founded by Michiganders and is Michigan-based. While we do a lot of work in Michigan, the bulk of our business is in states with stronger renewable energy policies like coastal states and other states like Illinois and Minnesota. The good news is Michigan’s clean energy industry has steadily grown in recent years. We hope the clean energy industry continues to grow right here in Michigan so our communities reap the benefits of good paying jobs and lower electricity costs.

Michigan’s clean energy sector grew by over 5 percent from 2015 to 2016 and now supports more than 92,000 jobs. Meanwhile, carbon pollution has declined 12 percent since 2012. Progress would seem imminent, especially with Michigan’s two biggest utilities, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy, retiring coal plants and making big announcements to boost renewable energy.

So why is DTE now seeking approval to build a new $1 billion, 1,100-megawatt gas plant in St. Clair Country?

Simply put, this plant is unnecessary. By ramping up energy efficiency and renewable energy we can defer the need for a new power plant by at least 10 years. Along the way, Michigan could create thousands of new jobs and save consumers billions of dollars.

We’ve compared the number of jobs that’d be created from DTE’s proposed gas plant to a diverse portfolio of solar, wind and efficiency. Clean energy comes out on top — generating over 10 times the number of construction jobs and four times the number of ongoing jobs.

In addition to new jobs, investing in energy efficiency and renewables is a cost saver for the state. In fact, DTE’s own modeling software illustrates multiple scenarios where the utility failed to explore where increasing energy efficiency, renewables, and demand response could save customers up to $2.5 billion compared to the proposed gas plant.

Michigan’s own utilities say their energy transformation should be driven by renewable energy and energy efficiency, so why aren’t we seeing it?

The Public Service Commission will approve or deny the construction of the plant within the next month.. It’s time for Michigan to invest in a 21st century system powered by clean, flexible, reliable, and sustainable resources.

That’s how Michigan will create the most jobs and build our local economy.

Daniel Edelson
Commercial Business Development Director, GreenLancer Energy

DTE gas plant not the best option for Michigan was originally published in e2org on Medium.