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DTE CEO: Reliance on coal to decline by 60%, renewable capacity to double by 2030

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DTE CEO: Reliance on coal to decline by 60%, renewable capacity to double by 2030

's reliance oncoal-fired power generation will decrease by more than half by 2030, accordingto Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson. Additionally, the company's renewablecapacity is projected to double by the same year.

Speakingon the company's second-quarter 2016 earnings call July 26, Anderson called thesecond-quarter development to retire units in the company's coal-firedgeneration fleet "significant."

A total of 2.5 GW of coal-fired generation units at threesites will be retired by 2023, Anderson said. In June, DTE Energy announcedplans to retire eight coal-fired units, as well as three in April, according toAnderson.

Themajority of the retiring coal generation will be replaced with natural gas,Anderson noted, but he stressed the company will continue to invest inrenewable energy such as wind and solar to keep a diverse portfolio mix. Hesaid it is part of a longer-term transition plan for the fleet that willrequire a roughly $3 billion investment.

"By 2030, we'd expect to retire an additional gigawattof coal-fired generation, which would bring total retirements to 3.5 gigawatts,"Anderson said. "And in doing that, our reliance on coal would decline byabout 60% and we'd expect to roughly double our current 10% renewable capacity,and to use more gas-fired generation in a baseload role."

Emissionsthrough 2030 will also likely be down because of the retirements, with CO2projected to decrease about 40% versus 2005 levels, Anderson said.

DTE ElectricCo. reported second-quarter operating earnings of $135 million, or75 cents per share, compared with $111 million, or 62 cents per share, in thesame quarter of 2015. DTE Gas Co. posted second-quarter operating earnings of$13 million, or 7 cents per share, compared with an operating loss of $7million, or a loss of 4 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

DTE Energy raisedits full-year 2016 operating EPS guidance to $4.91 to $5.19 from $4.80 to $5.05after reporting a year-over-year increase in second-quarter operating earnings.The company booked $177 million, or 98 cents per share, in second-quarter 2016,compared with $137 million, or 76 cents per share, in the corresponding quarterof last year. The result also beats the second-quarter S&P Capital IQconsensus estimate for normalized EPS of 89 cents.

"We experienced unusual weather this quarter which gavea boost to [our] utilities," DTE Energy's Senior Vice President and CFOPeter Oleksiak said on the call. "April was colder than normal, while Mayand June were warmer than normal. This unusual weather in the quarter createdboth heating and cooling load-causing earnings for both utilities to be upquarter over quarter."

Operating revenues for the quarter were flat year over yearat $2.26 billion, while operating income increased $52 million year over yearto $256 million.