Dearborn Industrial Generation

what it is

Dearborn Industrial Generation (DIG) is a 770-megawatt (MW) natural gas and waste gas cogeneration power plant located in Dearborn, Mich.

impact highlights

performance

DIG has been retrofitted with the latest turbine technology, and blast furnace gas from an adjacent steel mill, to produce efficient electricity that can power approximately 770,000 homes.

capacity

DIG can deliver 1.7 million pounds per hour of steam, along with electricity, to adjacent industrial customers.

planet

DIG is a Clean Corporate Citizen (C3) plant and reuses waste gas from the adjacent steel mill to greatly reduce its flaring impact on the environment.

about the plant

Dearborn

Dearborn Industrial Generation (DIG) is located across from Ford Motor Company’s Rouge Complex, which was once the largest vertically integrated factory in the world. Originally meant to replace the powerhouse supplying the Rouge Complex, the plant’s electric output is sold into the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) market. DIG fulfills heating and processing needs for Ford Motor Company, AK Steel, U.S. Steel and other adjacent industrial customers.

DIG’s first phase was completed in July 1999, comprised of one 160-MW simple-cycle natural gas combustion turbine to serve as a peaking unit supplying electricity to the Rouge Complex and Michigan’s electric grid. Two additional combined-cycle units became operational in 2001.

In 2015, plant leaders upgraded the facility’s two combined-cycle units, boosting the plant’s generating capacity from 710 MW to 752 MW. The plant’s peaking unit was upgraded later, boosting capacity to 770 MW.

Using two combined-cycle combustion turbines and three large auxiliary boilers, the steam turbine can be driven by any or all of those sources at once, enabling plant operators to increase or decrease output based on blast furnace gas volume. The waste blast furnace gas from the steel company is recycled by DIG, generating process steam and electricity.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (MDNRE) in June 2010 honored DIG with a Clean Corporate Citizen (C3) status, which recognizes consistent environmental stewardship and pollution prevention. As a result, DIG can participate in C3’s voluntary program, which provides support in reaching environmental improvement goals and regulatory benefits such as expedited permits.

DIG leaders and staff also give back to the Dearborn community. For example, the team supports the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) via the charitable foundation of primary CMS Energy subsidiary Consumers Energy. The center helps immigrant children and parents throughout the Dearborn area receive English as a second language (ESL) training.