Last winter's harsh weather left many states with limited natural gas supplies. While Michigan wasn't among them, DTE Energy says it's planning a new pipeline to ensure a Michigan never runs short of natural gas. It's called the Nexus Pipeline and will track right through Washtenaw County.
The plan calls for a 250 mile long pipeline starting in eastern Ohio and tying into DTE Energy's existing system in eastern Washtenaw County. The new portion of the pipeline will run through York, Augusta, and Ypsilanti Townships. DTE officials say the proposed route will stay within existing easements as much as possible.
Mike Chriss is DTE Energy's Director of Regional Relations. He says the pipeline will help the utility balance its energy portfolio. "Less and less reliance on coal requires greater reliance on natural gas. We also find that gas, you know, is far more plentiful than once thought, so it makes it more cost effective," Chriss says.
The pipeline will be able to handle up to 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. That's enough to meet the energy needs of over eight million homes.
Chriss says DTE is contacting affected property owners and will hold public meetings in early November. Before work can start, DTE must still get federal approval for the pipeline. Therefore, work isn't expected to begin until late next year. DTE hopes to have the pipeline operational in 2017.