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DTE Energy CEO Gerry Anderson Receives Prestigious Climate Leadership Award

Aggressive sustainability initiative earns recognition from Climate Registry, C2ES

DETROIT, March 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- DTE Energy Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson has been selected as the recipient of the Individual Climate Leadership award by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry for driving DTE Energy's goal to reduce carbon emissions by more than 80 percent by 2050.

Presented at the eighth annual Climate Leadership Conference in Denver, Anderson is among the first energy company CEOs to win the prestigious award, which honors exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in reducing carbon emissions and addressing climate change.

"Gerry Anderson is extremely deserving of the Climate Leadership Award," said Chris Kolb, president, Michigan Environmental Council. "His recognition that climate change is one of the defining public policy issues of our era and the defining issue within the energy industry is critical to the future health of the state of Michigan. He recognized the need for DTE Energy to take the lead in moving Michigan and the country forward to cleaner sources of energy that still provide reliable and affordable power for customers."

DTE Energy is Michigan's largest investor in renewable energy, having driven investments of $2 billion in wind farms and solar arrays since 2008, providing enough clean energy to power 450,000 homes. These investments helped DTE cut carbon emissions by nearly 25 percent in 2017 since 2005.

By continuing to incorporate substantially more renewable energy, transitioning its 24/7 power sources from coal to natural gas, continuing to operate its zero-emission Fermi 2 power plant, and improving options for customers to save energy and reduce bills, DTE plans to reduce carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2030, 75 percent by 2040 and more than 80 percent by 2050. These plans define a long-term shift by DTE to produce over three-quarters of its power from renewable energy and highly efficient natural gas-fired power plants.

"Fundamentally addressing climate change is among our greatest responsibilities," Anderson said. "Reducing our company's carbon footprint and developing cleaner sources of energy is a key priority for us. Over time, I suspect this work will also bring great opportunity – for example, when we invest to enable electric vehicles to drive similar transformation in the transportation sector."

DTE studied the engineering and the economics of Michigan's energy future for two years before announcing its 2050 carbon reduction goals – a timeframe that aligns with the target scientists broadly have identified as necessary to help address climate change.

"We've concluded not only that the 80 percent reduction goal is achievable, it is achievable in a way that ensures Michigan's power is safe, secure, affordable, reliable – and sustainable," Anderson said. "There doesn't have to be a choice between a healthy environment and a healthy economy, although the debate often gets framed that way. We can have both, if we invest in a smart way."

DTE's plans include:

  • The construction of an additional 4,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity – enough to supply the energy for nearly 2 million homes – supplementing the 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy DTE has built since 2008.
  • The steady retirement of the company's aging coal-fired plants, which continued in 2016 with the announced shutdown of 11 coal units by the early 2020s.
  • The construction of a highly efficient, state-of-the-art natural gas-fired power plant of about 1,100 megawatts on existing company property in East China Township, Mich., that will, beginning in 2022, supply 24/7 power and ensure reliability as the coal plant retirements proceed.
  • Continued investment in energy efficiency and energy waste reduction, helping customers to both save money and take greater control over their energy use.
  • The investment of $5 billion over the next five years to modernize the electric grid and gas infrastructure, ensuring reliability while creating and supporting more than 10,000 Michigan jobs.
  • An aggressive plan to reduce energy and water within DTE's own facilities by a minimum of 25 percent.

The annual Climate Leadership Conference is dedicated to professionals addressing global climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions. The conference gathers forward-thinking leaders from business, government, academia, and the non-profit community, to explore energy and climate related solutions, introduce new opportunities, and provide support to leaders taking action on climate change. The Climate Leadership Conference is hosted by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and The Climate Registry.

About DTE Energy

DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.3 million customers in Michigan. The DTE Energy portfolio includes non-utility energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy marketing and trading.  As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy.

DTE Energy (PRNewsFoto/DTE Energy)

SOURCE DTE Energy

For further information: Brian Corbett, DTE Energy, 313.235.5555