DTE Energy spent $7.5 million to open a new hub in Walker for its Gas Renewal Program operations in northern and West Michigan.
The Detroit-based energy provider held a grand opening Aug. 25 for its new Three Mile Road service center, also known as Walker Station, at 4211 Three Mile Rd. NW.
The new 19,000-square-foot DTE gas campus will employ 34 field crew members, 21 office staff and more than 100 contract workers who will perform year-round service in support of the Gas Renewal Program.
DTE Energy said it will invest $110 million over the next three years to install 92 miles of new pipe and upgrade 9,000 meters in the Grand Rapids area alone. The effort, part of the Gas Renewal Program, will further strengthen the reliability of natural gas delivery and significantly reduce methane emissions.
“The opening of this facility is part of our multi-year, statewide Gas Renewal Program in which we’re investing $3.5 billion to replace cast-iron and steel pipe with safer, more reliable and environmentally friendly materials,” said Matt Paul, president and COO at DTE Gas. “The Three Mile Station will help us work more efficiently and collaboratively throughout greater Michigan as we move forward in completing this important work.”
The replacement pipe to be installed is made from durable, flexible plastic that helps reduce methane emissions. The Gas Renewal Program is a key component in DTE’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its electric and gas operations by 2050. When completed, the program will reduce methane emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 100,000 cars off the road, DTE said.
“The new pipe will also support our ability to transport new sources of energy as technology advances,” Paul said. “Our infrastructure already transports renewable natural gas created by capturing methane from landfills, dairy farms and wastewater treatment plant byproducts. In fact, renewable natural gas is currently offered as part of our voluntary Natural Gas Balance program designed to help our customers reduce their carbon footprint.”
The nearby Wealthy Station will continue to serve as a primary service center for gas operations and, together with the Three Mile Road facility, will support DTE’s mission to provide safe, reliable, affordable gas to area customers.
“We are proud to welcome DTE Energy to Walker,” said Walker Mayor Gary Carey. “As an investor, an employer and an essential energy provider, we consider DTE a strong and valuable community partner.”
Customers interested in joining DTE on its net zero greenhouse gas emissions journey by reducing their own carbon footprint are invited to join its voluntary Natural Gas Balance program. Participants can offset their greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas use through carbon offsets and renewable natural gas. More information is at dteenergy.com/naturalgasbalance.