Take a deep breath and you know you’re in Michigan. The air is the cleanest it’s been in a generation. It’s easy to take it for granted. Not us. We know we can strive to do better. We have aggressive plans in place to further reduce emissions with new technology and alternative fuels. By 2020, we plan to reduce total sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 92%, nitrogen dioxide (NOx) emissions by 89%, mercury by 83% and particulate emissions by 98%. Our progress to date can be seen in the chart below.
Our plans are ambitious but we’re confident we’ll get there through a mix of innovative and proven methods. We’ve installed emission reducing technology, including spray dry absorbers (SDA) and dry-sorbent injection (DSI) to reduce sulfur dioxide (SO2), selective catalytic reduction (SCR) for the reduction of oxides of nitrogen and pulse jet fabric filters (PJFF) for the reduction of particulate matter, and switched our fuel sources to lower sulfur fuels to decrease SO2 emissions. We’re also planning to employ technology such as activated carbon injection (ACI) for the reduction of mercury. And we’re always digging for new ideas to make additional improvements.
To minimize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, we’ve developed a voluntary, three-phase reduction target for carbon intensity ratio (CIR). CIR is the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted through the production of one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity. Working from a baseline of 2008, our goal is to have the plan fully implemented by 2025.
Cleaning the air involves a lot of stakeholders. We worked with the Michigan Agency for Energy and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to evaluate the possible impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency Clean Power Plan. This is a dynamic process and will help shape future investments in Michigan’s energy infrastructure.
We’re always thinking about new ways to reduce our emissions footprint. Here’s a list of key activities that are already underway:
As part of a Consent Decree with the US EPA and the Department of Justice (Civil Action No. 14-13580, E.D. of Michigan), Consumers Energy is funding a wood burning appliance replacement program. Visit the Lower Peninsula of MI Woodstove Changeout Program website hosted by the American Lung Association for details.