St. Clair Power Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

St. Clair Power Plant is a 1,547.0-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station operated by DTE Electric near East China, Michigan.


The power station is located in St. Clair County, Michigan, on the west bank of St. Clair River. The plant is across M-29 from the newer Belle River Power Plant in East China, Michigan.

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Plant Data

  • Owner: DTE Electric Company
  • Parent Company: DTE Energy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,547.0 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 168.7 MW (1953), Unit 2: 156.2 MW (1953), Unit 3: 156.2 MW (1954), Unit 4: 168.7 MW (1954), Unit 6: 352.7 MW (1961), Unit 7: 544.5 MW (1969)
  • Location: 4901 Pointe Dr., East China, MI 48054
  • GPS Coordinates: 42.763305, -82.472505
  • Technology: Subcritical
  • Coal type: Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: Bailey Mine (Consol), Decker Mine (Decker Coal), Spring Creek coal mine (Navajo Nation)[1]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements: Unit 4 retired in 2017, Unit 1 retired in 2019, The 4 remaining units are scheduled for retirement in May 2022.[2]

Unit Retirements

The plant lacks modern pollution controls, and is located in an area of Michigan that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated as “failing to meet federal air quality standards” for sulfur dioxide in January 2016. After a public pressure campaign, DTE said the full plant will be retired between 2020 and 2022.[3][4][5]

Unit 5 its cyclone boiler was taken out of service in 1979 due to a mechanical problem with the boiler. The stack for unit five was removed in 2012.

Unit 4 retired early, in 2017, due to mechanical problems.

Unit 1 was retired in March 2019.[6]


On August 11, 2016 a fire broke out, damaging the plant.[7]

Coal Supply

St. Clair Power Plant uses a shared coal facility with the the Belle River Power Plant located just to the west of their location. In the EIA 923 database their shared coal facility is stated as BRSC Shared Storage (plant id 8841), a abbreviation for Belle River Saint Clair Shared Storage. Both power plants also have their own seperate coal storage that would allow delivert directly from coal suppliers.[1]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 7,818,581 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 42,374 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 9,907 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 266 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from St. Clair Power Plant

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[8] Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. To monetize the health impact of fine particle pollution from each coal plant, Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[9]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from St. Clair Power Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 110 $800,000,000
Heart attacks 180 $19,000,000
Asthma attacks 1,700 $89,000
Hospital admissions 81 $1,900,000
Chronic bronchitis 65 $29,000,000
Asthma ER visits 90 $33,000

Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 "EIA 923 July 2020" EIA 923 July 2020.
  2. "Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (based on Form EIA-860M as a supplement to Form EIA-860) - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)". Retrieved 2021-12-27.
  3. "DTE Announces Plans to Retire River Rouge, Trenton Channel, and St. Clair Coal-Fired Power Plants," Sierra Club, June 8, 2016
  4. "DTE Plans To Shut Down 8 Coal-Fired Units At 3 Plants," CBS Detroit, June 8, 2016
  5. "DTE Energy speeds up closing of coal-fired plants," Detroit News, March 28, 2019
  6. "Dominion retirements dominate March US generating capacity changes," SP Global, May 2, 2019
  7. Shepard, Liz (August 15, 2016). "45 agencies responded to power plant blaze". Times-Herald. Port Huron, Michigan. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
  8. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  9. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

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