US energy company DTE Energy has started construction of a new $1 billion natural gas fired power plant near Detroit, Michigan.

The 1150 MW Blue Water Energy Centre is due to start operating in 2022 and will be the most efficient power plant in the state, DTE said.

The project is a key part of the company’s plans to curb carbon emissions. Since 2009, it has invested over $2.5 billion in renewable energy, its Chairman and CEO, Gerry Anderson, said.

GE Power will supply the main power generating equipment for the plant, which will be built by Kiewit Engineering. The plant will be 70 per cent cleaner and 40 per cent more efficient than the three coal-fired plants DTE plans to retire by 2023.

“Just over a year ago, DTE first announced a broad sustainability initiative to reduce carbon emissions by more than 80 per cent and do it in a way that maintains affordability and reliability for our customers,” said Anderson. “But as we continue to retire coal-fired power plants – all of them by 2040 – we need to complement wind farms and solar arrays with high reliability assets.

“When it begins operations in 2022, [Blue Water Energy Centre] will represent our single largest step in reducing carbon emissions to date.”

DTE is aiming to double its renewable energy capacity to 2000 by 2022