Belle River Power Plant

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Belle River Power Plant
Location East China, Michigan
Coordinates 42°46′26″N 82°29′42″W / 42.77389°N 82.49500°W / 42.77389; -82.49500Coordinates: 42°46′26″N 82°29′42″W / 42.77389°N 82.49500°W / 42.77389; -82.49500
Status active
Commission date 5 internal combustion
generators: November, 1981
Unit 1 (coal): August, 1984
Unit 2 (coal): July, 1985
3 gas-fired turbines: September, 1999
Owner(s) Detroit Edison
Thermal power station
Primary fuel subbituminous coal,
natural gas,
distillate fuel oil
Type steam, gas turbine, internal combustion
Cooling source St. Clair River
Power generation
Units operational 3
Nameplate capacity 1,664 MWe

Belle River Power Plant is a major coal- and natural gas-fired power plant owned by Detroit Edison, a subsidiary of DTE Energy. It is located in St. Clair County, Michigan, on the peninsula formed by the St. Clair and Belle rivers. The plant was built across M-29 from the St. Clair Power Plant in East China, Michigan, and shares the coal delivery terminal with it. The Belle River plant shares cooling water from the St. Clair River with its sister plant. Five oil-fueled internal combustion generators (named IC1, IC2, 3, 4, and 5) were built in 1981, with the total output 13.75 megawatt. Coal-fired unit 1 of the Belle River plant was completed in 1984, followed by a similar unit 2 in 1985. Each unit has a nameplate capacity of 697.5 MWe, however the coal-fired plant as a whole generates 1260 MWe all year around. In 1999, three peaker natural-gas fired turbines (named 12-1, 12-2, and 13-1) were added, with the total name-plate capacity of 256 MWe.[1]

Belle River is Detroit Edison's third producer of electricity.[2] The power plant has a significant impact on the local economy, employing many residents. The Lansing Board of Water and Light owns a small portion of the power plant and buys electricity from DTE during peak demand periods. [3]

Connection to the grid[edit]

The plant is connected to the power grid via numerous 345 kV transmission lines, both operated and maintained by ITC Transmission. There are 3 double-circuit 345kV Transmission Lines. Two of the three head west and one goes north to west and there it crosses Interstate 94 and goes north to west again where it connects to a 345kV line heading north to the Greenwood Energy Center, also owned by Detroit Edison. Another 345 kV transmission line interconnects with Hydro One.

Environmental impact[edit]

All of the waste heat generated by the plant (about twice its electrical output) is released into the St. Clair River.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2006" (Excel). Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy. 2006. Archived from the original on 16 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  2. ^ "Power Plants by State - DETROIT EDISON CO". Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  3. ^