Did you know that the Michigan Legislature has declared this week as Natural Gas Week in Michigan? Natural gas has fueled the state’s growth for more than 150 years, dating all the way back to 1849 when DTE’s gas business got its start as the Detroit Gas Light Company, providing gas for lights in downtown Detroit.
As the popularity of natural gas for heating and cooking grew, the Detroit Gas Light Company grew and expanded across Michigan, eventually becoming MichCon and finally DTE Gas.
Today, fields that once produced natural gas here in Michigan offer the state, and DTE, the most storage capacity for natural gas in the country. Former natural gas reservoirs deep underground at DTE’s storage fields allow DTE to store 229 billion cubic feet of natural gas safely. This storage helps DTE manage gas costs for customers by buying large volumes of gas at cheaper prices and storing them until they are needed during the winter.
About 13 percent of Michigan’s annual natural gas usage is produced right here in the state, and connections to major pipeline networks allow for almost all of the remaining gas the state needs to flow in from elsewhere in the United States. The new NEXUS project, under development, will bring a new source of abundant, low-cost, clean burning natural gas to Michigan and Ohio from Pennsylvania, satisfying the increasing demand for natural gas.
Demand for natural gas is rising because costs are low. In addition to the 80 percent of Michigan homes that use natural gas for heating, DTE will add more natural gas generation of electricity as the company transitions toward a lower-carbon future.