Detroit Edison's Belle River Power Plant Celebrates 25-year Anniversary

CHINA TOWNSHIP, Mich., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- DTE Energy officials along with state and local lawmakers and other officials, joined the employees of Detroit Edison's Belle River Power Plant today to celebrate the facility's 25th anniversary.

The plant began full commercial operation on Oct. 11, 1985, producing as much as 1,350 megawatts of electricity from its two generating units.  Over the following 25 years, the coal-fired power plant has produced more than 215,000 gigawatt hours of electricity.  That's equivalent to all the electricity used by Detroit Edison's 2.1 million customers over five years.

Detroit Edison Vice President, Fossil Generation, Paul Fessler, said that the plant has been an important part of the local community, a significant contributor to the economy and a committed steward of the environment.  "Each day over those 25 years nearly 200 skilled and dedicated employees have worked diligently to operate the plant safely, efficiently, reliably and responsibly," he said.  "Through their efforts, Belle River has been a key contributor to the stability and reliability of the electrical system in Southeast Michigan."

Plant Director Russel Pogats noted that the plant has been an important member of the community and a good neighbor.  "Our neighbors in this community expect us to operate our plants safely, to comply with regulations, and provide our employees with a safe work environment where they are treated with respect and dignity," he said. "We work hard to meet those expectations, but we think we should do more.  We believe we should support the communities that have opened their doors to us and I'm proud to say that the Belle River Power Plant has been a good neighbor to East China Township and St. Clair County."

The Belle River Power Plant team supports the St. Clair County Walk for Warmth, the Salvation Army "Adopt A Child" Christmas project, the "Back to School Backpack Program" through the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, the Mid City Nutrition Soup Kitchen, the March of Dimes Jail and Bail fund raiser and the United Way of St. Clair County.

Plant Manager John Dau noted that during last month's annual plantwide Safety Day, which featured a number of events and activities to enhance worker safety, the plant donated $6,000 to the St. Clair Area Fire Authority to help fund the acquisition of 16 emergency pagers for volunteer firefighters.

"Safety is at the heart of everything we do at the Belle River Power Plant," he said.  "That's why we have such appreciation for firefighters who put themselves in danger to protect the health and safety of the people in this community.  We are extremely grateful for the job they do and we are pleased to help them obtain these pagers to help them do that job more effectively."

Dau said that plant employees also have a strong commitment to environmental stewardship.  "Belle River employees are keenly aware that they have a personal responsibility for protecting the environment day in and day out," he said. "This is a commitment we have made to our families, friends and neighbors and to future generations."

Belle River has received numerous awards and certifications for environmental stewardship including:

  • Wildlife Habitat Certification
  • Environmental Stewardship Award from the Wildlife Habitat Council
  • ISO 14001 certification of its environmental management system
  • Michigan Business Pollution Prevention Partnership certification
  • Clean Corporate Citizen designation from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (MDNRE)
  • The Neighborhood Environmental Partnership Award from MDNRE.

Many undeveloped areas of the plant's 2,200-acre site are management for the benefit of wildlife and native plant species.

Additional facts about the Belle River Power Plant include:

  • Plant employees number about 180.
  • The plant building stands 13 stories (257 feet) tall.
  • The two exhaust stacks measure 665 feet tall.
  • The plant operates exclusively on low-sulfur western coal, to minimize sulfur dioxide emissions, and consumes about 50 tons of coal per hour.
  • Producing up to 1,350 megawatts of power, it is the second largest power producer in the Detroit Edison generating fleet.

Detroit Edison is an investor-owned electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a subsidiary of DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Information about DTE Energy is available at

SOURCE Detroit Edison