10. What is the status of Michigan's current natural gas pipeline capacity? Is there currently sufficient capacity to not only move natural gas around the state, but also to get natural gas into the state?


This paper offers state utility commissions insights on and an analysis of a topic that has grown in importance. The demand for distribution-line extensions has proliferated in recent years across various parts of the country. Commissions should consider seriously reviewing their gas utilities' line-extension policies in light of this development. - Chuck

Line Extensions for Natural Gas: Regulatory Considerations

Michigan has an electrical and a natural gas infrastructure. We also have had wood based industry that have been served by these energy delivery systems in the past but now in many locations are brownfields. If we developed a wood based energy system that has a 8 to 10 year harvest cycle with aggressive wood waste gathering on these old wood industry sites we could optimize the existing infrastructure. Wood would provide energy security over a several year cycle. In-forest gathering of waste would reduce the CH4 load on the atmosphere. Conversion of wood to natural gas with salt dome storage would give energy security on a month to month basis and the pumped water storage in Ludington would give hour by hour stability to the grid. If conservation measures (and energy production efficiency) in Michigan can not reduce our consumption to match the sum of wind, solar, and biomass then we can continue to import natural gas or we can add nuclear to the base load.
To summarize an answer to this question: If we have efficient, distributed consumption and distributed, diversified generation of both electricity and natural gas the existing system should be able to serve us into the future. - Lee, ASME