Detroit-based energy provider DTE Energy today announced upgrades have been made to more than 2,100 miles of natural gas lines throughout the state. The utility also installed thousands of advanced meters through its Gas Renewal Program. The upgrades improve the safety and reliability of the natural gas delivery system, ensuring sufficient heat for homes and businesses this winter.
“When you buy a car or a truck, you maintain it to get the most of your investment. The same is true of our natural gas infrastructure that’s served our customers very well,” says Mark Stiers, president and COO of DTE Gas. “We diligently monitor and maintain our delivery system and make repairs when necessary. At some point, however, we need to replace sections of our system to ensure the reliable and cost effective delivery of energy to homes and businesses every day.”
This year, DTE’s gas utility increased the pace of equipment upgrades across Michigan by installing 165 miles of new main lines, nearly 330 miles of service lines, and 20,000 advanced meters. Though other system improvement programs this year, the company also upgraded 72,000 meters for Grand Rapids customers and installed more than a mile of new main to accommodate growing energy needs in northern Michigan, giving 1,100 potential customers in Big Rapids, Traverse City, Petoskey, and Grand Rapids access to natural gas.
“These infrastructure investments not only keep natural gas delivery reliable, they are also beneficial to local economies,” adds Stiers. “Overall, the effort employs more than 300 people, either directly by DTE or though Michigan-based companies, and invests $60 million in contactors, engineers, and restoration teams.”
DTE Energy currently provides electricity to 2.2 million customers in southeastern Michigan, and provides natural gas to 1.3 million customers across the state.