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about Detroit Thermal

100 years of energy for Detroiters

Unique among Detroit utilities, Detroit Thermal delivers clean steam energy through an extensive, redundant, underground network that runs throughout the greater downtown Detroit area and services more than 100 buildings. The steam is used for space heating, domestic hot water heating, absorption chilling, humification, cooking, sterilization and beer brewing. Produced with clean natural gas, our environmentally friendly system offers building owners and facilities managers several important advantages:

Detroit Thermal’s steam distribution system has been an innovative energy solution for Detroit since 1903. More than 100 years later, it is still providing clean, safe steam energy as effectively as ever–only now, it is partially derived from clean, renewable sources.

Detroit Thermal is a critical piece of Detroit’s energy infrastructure and economic recovery. The extensive network provides steam for cost-effective space heating, hot water heating and absorption cooling to more than 100 buildings throughout the greater downtown area.

Sometimes referred to as “district energy,” our service is an alternative to the cost and complexity of operating on-site steam boilers, water chillers or other energy systems.

History

1904-

First Plant Built to steam heat Detroit buildings (Willis Plant). 3,000 feet of steam piping and 12 customers.

1904-
1926-

Beacon Facility built to help support the district steam heating network.

1926-
1940-

42 miles of underground steam mains serving approximately 1,650 customers.

1940-
1977-

The Renaissance Center is built, and Detroit Thermal continues to serve this building along with several others in the Central Business District.

1977-
1986-

Waste-to-Energy facility built to support trash incineration and sell steam to the underground district steam heating network.

1986-
2011-

Waste-to-Energy facility and Detroit Thermal facilities including the underground district steam heating network come under one ownership structure.

2011-
2019-

Waste-to-Energy facility shut down, allowing for all steam to be produced by clean natural gas.

2019-

Select Customers

Since our founding in 1903, Detroit Thermal has served many of the city’s landmark addresses, including GM Renaissance Center, Cobo Hall, Fox Theater, Detroit Medical Center, Ford Field, City of Detroit and Henry Ford Health System, among others—more than 30,000,000 square feet of office, medical, industrial and events facilities space in total.

Serving Detroit

See Profiles of the businesses that Detroit Thermal serves — from Detroit mainstays to the small business that keep the city moving.

Fox Theatre

LEGEND THEATRE Fox Theatre Detroit is a beautiful theatre in downtown Detroit, Michigan. Opened in 1928 as the flagship movie. . .
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