DTE Energy has announced that it is seeking approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to construct 1.1GW natural gas-fired power plant in Michigan.

The plant, which will be built with a cost of $1bn, will be located in East China Township, Michigan.

DTE has chosen the East China Township site for the new natural gas plant, as it already has the required electric, natural gas and other infrastructure.

Construction on the gas-fired power plant is scheduled to start in 2019, with the commissioning of the plant taking place in 2022.

The plant is expected to 500 jobs in the state during its construction phase.

It is part of DTE’s plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 30% by the early 2020s and over 80% by 2050.

DTE plans to achieve its emissions target through the addition of 4GW of renewable energy from wind and solar farms, shifting its power sources from coal to natural gas, and operating its zero-emission Fermi 2 power plant.

DTE president and COO Trevor Lauer said: “A fundamental transformation in the way we produce power in Michigan has already begun.

“Last year, we announced three DTE coal-fired power plants will be retired by 2023 and replaced with cleaner, more efficient, reliable and affordable energy, including natural gas and renewable.”

DTE has filed a Certificate of Necessity with the MPSC to build the new plant. After receiving the filing, the MPSC has 270 days to review DTE's request and give approval.

Lauer said: "Natural gas-fired plants will be a critical part of our power generation capacity in the decades ahead.

"Natural gas significantly reduces carbon, sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions, offers an affordable and abundant domestic supply, is easy to transport and provides a reliable 24/7 power source for our 2.2 million customers."

In June last year, the US-based utility announced plans to close three coal fired power plants in Michigan by 2023, as part of efforts to shift its focus towards newer and cleaner energy production.

Image: Photo of St. Clair Power Plant in East China Michigan. Photo courtesy of Cgord (talk)/Wikipedia.