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DTE Energy destroys idle power plant in Trenton, stirring up dust and flames

DTE Energy demolishes idle power plant in Trenton


DTE Energy demolishes idle power plant in Trenton

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Part of a decommissioned nuclear power plant near Detroit was destroyed by explosive devices on Friday, turning the massive structure into a pile of rubble and raising a wall of dust and flames.

At around 6 a.m., a series of controlled explosive devices detonated at the foundation of the boiler house of the former Trenton Channel Power Plant, shortly before the nine-story, 180-foot-tall building along the Detroit River began to collapse.

DTE Energy officials said the outage occurred smoothly and as planned by the utility.

“I knew the team was ready. They had planned carefully for months and were able to do just a great job. I'm really, really proud of the team,” said Renee Tomina, senior vice president of the project management organization. “This Trenton Channel Power Plant has been in this community for 100 years and has really served this community very well. So I know it's part of the fabric and structure of the community and certainly part of the culture and history of DTE.”

The coal-fired power plant was shut down in 2022 after generating electricity for nearly a century. It was demolished as part of DTE Energy's transition to clean energy by building a battery storage facility.

When the Trenton Channel Energy Center comes online in 2026, it will be the largest stand-alone battery storage project in the Great Lakes, DTE Energy said. It will be able to store 220 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 40,000 homes, the utility said.

Until their destruction in March, the Trenton Channel Power Plant site also included two 183-meter-high, red-and-white striped smokestacks that had long been a landmark in the area.

DTE Energy demolishes idle power plant in Trenton

Anna Harden

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