Steam Energy from Renewable Sources

The renewable nature of the energy we use in part to create our steam is one of its most attractive features.  In the future, a majority of our steam will be produced from renewable sources.

The primary source of steam for Detroit Thermal is our sister company, Detroit Renewable Power, which owns and operates Detroit's only energy-from-waste (EFW) plant.

The Detroit Renewable Power facility converts up to 3,300 tons of municipal solid waste per day into refuse-derived fuel that powers three large boilers. Refuse-derived fuel is classified by the EPA as a renewable energy source because it is sustainable and non-depletable.  In addition, this process preserves landfill space while offering lower greenhouse gas emissions than landfilling.

The resulting steam from the combustion of this fuel is used to generate up to 68 megawatts of electricity and is available for export at a peak rate of up to 550,000 pounds per hour. The electricity is sold to the Detroit Edison Electric Company and the steam is delivered to Detroit Thermal.

Redundancy is critical to our customers. Detroit Thermal has the capability to manufacture steam at its own facilities, using natural gas from three plants strategically located within the footprint of greater downtown Detroit. Detroit Thermal has a combined peak day steam generating capacity of over 1,000,000 pounds per hour.

Detroit Thermal delivers steam through an extensive network of underground pipelines to heat and cool many of the commercial office buildings, municipal office buildings, hospitals, and universities in downtown and midtown Detroit.

The steam energy business in Detroit is over 100 years old. The growth of the steam energy business in Detroit has mirrored the growth of the electric industry and was inspired by entrepreneurial minds, like Thomas Edison, that created so many of the products that we still rely upon.

As Detroit strives to build a greener energy infrastructure, steam derived from renewable sources offers Detroit a reliable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for energy to power a new century of innovation.

For more information about district energy systems like ours, please visit

Service Evaluation

For a free, no-obligation economic analysis of using Detroit Thermal in your planned or existing facility, please contact Rick Pucak, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Technical Service, at email

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