At 1.1 million kilowatts, our Fermi 2 plant represents 30 percent of Michigan's total nuclear generation capacity. This single plant is capable of producing enough electricity to serve a city of about one million people. Fuel costs are about half those of the most efficient coal-fired plants.
Fermi 2 began commercial operations in 1988. Since that time, the plant has produced more than 143 billion kilowatt hours of electricity for DTE Energy customers. The plant employs about 900 workers and produces about 20 percent of the power generated by DTE Energy power plants.
In 2001, Fermi 2 was the first nuclear power plant in the state to achieve Clean Corporate Citizen (C3) status. The Department of Environmental Quality's voluntary C3 program recognizes top performers in environmental management and stewardship. Fermi 2 has maintained the designation every year since 2001. The plant has also maintained Wildlife Habitat Council certification since 2000 and has set aside 600 acres for inclusion in the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. That property is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In September 2008, DTE Energy filed a Combined License Application (COLA) with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which was granted by the commission in 2015. The proposed new plant would use the General Electric-Hitachi Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) technology. If the company decides to build the new plant, it will be located on the same 1,250-acre property that is home to Fermi 2.
While the company has not committed to building a new plant, the license preserves the option to do so in the future. DTE is keeping that option open given the long-term environmental and economic advantages of nuclear power.