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11/04/2003

Dte Energy Seeks To Build Hydrogen Technology Park In Southfield

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – DTE Energy today took another step toward building a hydrogen energy pilot project that will model a complete, multi-use hydrogen energy system.

DTE Energy is partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy, the state of Michigan and the city of Southfield to develop, build and operate the project that will create hydrogen gas from tap water and use that gas in fuel cell generators and to refuel fuel cell vehicles.

The project also will comprise on-site hydrogen production using renewable biomass and solar power, hydrogen storage and distribution, on-site electrical power generation using fuel cell technology and vehicle fueling. Having completed initial project development and system design, DTE Energy is moving ahead with the permitting process.

“With the Hydrogen Technology Park, DTE Energy continues its commitment to leadership in clean and renewable energy technologies,” said Anthony F. Earley Jr., DTE Energy chairman and CEO. “The Hydrogen Technology Park will be the first of its kind to model a complete, multi-use hydrogen energy system. It’s intended to provide key insights into the technical and economic challenges of commercializing hydrogen as an environmentally friendly, safe alternative to conventional fuels.”

The $3 million, five-year pilot project will result in a system capable of delivering about 100,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year – enough to power a small office park or about 20 homes -- and enough compressed hydrogen gas to fuel three vehicles per day. The project will be at Detroit Edison’s Southfield Station on the northeast corner of 11 Mile and Inkster roads.

Hydrogen is viewed by many – including President George W. Bush – as a way for the United States to achieve energy independence and an improved environment through development of replacement energy sources to fossil fuels. The Bush Administration plans to spend $1.7 billion to research the development of hydrogen as America’s next energy source.

Earley noted that DTE Energy’s Hydrogen Technology Park would help the state of Michigan become a world leader in advanced energy technologies that will eventually play an important role in the nation’s energy system.

>“The state and city of Southfield also have the opportunity to be at the center of new energy technology development and the associated job creation,” Earley said. “The Hydrogen Technology Park will be a showcase that draws visitors from around the world.”

 

The Technology Park will be in one of Michigan’s SmartZones, established by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to foster collaboration between technology-based businesses and research institutions. SmartZones create recognized clusters of new and emerging businesses focused on commercializing ideas, patents and other research opportunities. DTE Energy is working with Lawrence Technological University to provide student learning and research opportunities using the Technology Park as a working laboratory.

A number of DTE Energy subsidiaries will support the Hydrogen Technology Park, including DTE Energy Technologies of Farmington Hills, Mich., which will manage the overall design and installation of the system. Plug Power, a leading fuel cell developer that DTE Energy established and has a 23-percent stake in, will supply the fuel cell generation equipment.

DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its largest operating units are Detroit Edison, an electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan, and MichCon, a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan. Information about DTE Energy is available at www.dteenergy.com .



Members of the media, for further information:

Scott Simons
(313) 235-8808
Lorie N. Kessler
(313) 235-8807

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