DTE is committed to getting as clean as we can as fast as we can, while taking reliability and affordability into account for our customers. Last year alone, DTE Electric added 535-megawatts of renewable energy, and our fleet of 50-plus wind and solar parks generate enough clean energy to power nearly 700,000 Michigan homes. We are continuing this growth in our renewable generation, and by 2025, DTE will double its renewable energy capacity while investing an additional $2.8 billion in renewable energy infrastructure.

As we add more renewables onto the grid, we have learned firsthand how energy storage helps balance the demand on the grid from intermittent resources. Since 1973, the Ludington Pumped Storage Hydro Plant has played a crucial role in balancing customer demand for electricity with supply here in Michigan. The plant operates by passing water back and forth between Lake Michigan and the plant’s upper reservoir during the highs and lows of customer demand, and the best part of the operation is DTE can utilize renewable energy assets to “charge” the facility, making the plant a carbon free source of energy storage. The need for additional energy storage will only grow as DTE brings more wind and solar online in the coming years.

So, in order to support the growth of renewables, DTE is focused on gathering firsthand experience with emerging energy storage applications to meet our energy and grid reliability needs. Today, we know battery storage is a solution to store excess generation from wind and solar, and as customer demand increases, we can supply this clean energy reserve back to our customers. The projected long-term decrease in capital costs for grid scale batteries also makes them an attractive technology to pursue.

"Today, we know battery storage is a solution to store excess generation from wind and solar, and as customer demand increases, we can supply this clean energy reserve back to our customers"

We also know grid scale batteries provide a carbon-neutral source of energy while being available on demand. This makes grid-scale batteries a unique solution to help DTE and the utility industry transition away from our fossil fuel powered peaker units. DTE’s Slocum Peaker Replacement Battery Project pilot program will transition the vintage, five-diesel powered peaker units with a 14 MW battery that has a 4-hour storage capacity (56 MWh). The battery will charge during times of low customer demand and discharge during times of high demand. What’s great about this solution is the proposed battery modules will utilize the physical footprint of our diesel units while using the transmission interconnection of the current peaker site. This will allow the battery project to directly deliver energy back into the regional grid. The success of this pilot will help DTE transition to cleaner forms of energy without sacrificing reliability or affordability.

This fall, DTE will continue our journey for a clean energy future with the filing of our new CleanVision Integrated Resource Plan. Our goal is to create a plan that is inclusive of emerging technologies and flexible enough to meet our customers’ growing demand for clean, affordable and reliable energy.