Looking for coal-fired power plants in SE Michigan...

I’m searching the web, having a helluva time finding these things. Anyone know where I can track down a list of locations of coal-fired power plants in the Detroit area? Some of them might not be owned by DTE.


This can get you started, although it will only list by county: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/page/capacity/existingunits2003.xls

(there is a much newer one, 2007 or so, which I have but I can’t find an online link to it)

However, once you have the county right, you can go to SourceWatch, and look up the plant names to get Google maps and GPS locations. For example, DTE Monroe: Monroe Power Plant - SourceWatch

OR, you can cut to the chase and try a page like this: Category:Existing coal plants in Michigan - SourceWatch

Just navigate to the Detroit area, and click on the Google “pins” to see plant information.

Note as well many hundreds of smaller coal plants will not be shown by SourceWatch, but may be in the EIA spreadsheet I linked to first. And even then, many private plants will not be in the EIA spreadsheet.

This one is spectacular, thanks a bunch. I’ve been looking for a list of small plants; the Sourcewatch folks only go down to (I think) 50 MW.

You might also go to a hobby shop and buy the latest edition of Trains magazine; this month’s feature story is about coal, and there is a fold out map of the U.S. that has both source and destination marked–most of the destinations are coal fired power plants.

I was able to increment the date in that link, up to the point where I got a spreadsheet from the end of 2008, the most current one they had available.

I haven’t tried to locate the very small sources (some on the DOE list are single-digit megawatts) on Sourcewatch, but I’ll give it a shot. Barring that, some Google-fu ought to turn up some addresses.

I pulled up views for River Rouge (42.270523, -83.124699) and Trenton Channel (42.12455, -83.18632) plants in Bing Maps - Directions, trip planning, traffic cameras & more and it easy to spot the plants. By clicking on Aerial and Bird’s Eye View you can examine them in detail.

I didn’t notice any cooling towers. I guess they didn’t require them back in the 50s and 60s when these plants were built.

Cooling towers are just one means for power plant to discharge the heat from their condensers to the environment. If they have access to large quantities of water (lake, river, estuary…) they don’t need cooling towers.

I just so happen to have this very magazine in front of me, but the coal distribution centerfold (hubba hubba) only has the top 25 coal plants in terms of consumption, the only one of which is near Detroit, the DTE-owned Monroe plant. It’s interesting that it’s the only plant in the top-25 that uses just about 50-50% western and eastern coal.