Midwest Energy Awarded $580,000 Grant for Gas Leak Detection Equipment | News

Midwest Energy Awarded $580,000 Grant for Gas Leak Detection Equipment

May 03, 2023

Midwest Energy was recently awarded $580,800 for upgraded natural gas leak detection devices through a federal grant under 2021’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

Midwest Energy was the only entity in Kansas to receive funding under a nationally competitive process administered by the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. A total of $196 million was awarded to 37 entities across 19 states, with a focus on gas infrastructure safety and modernization. 

The funds awarded will be used to purchase 20 handheld laser gas leak detection devices and four All-Terrain Vehicles to aid leak detection surveys. Using laser detection, gas leaks can be identified as far as 100 feet away from the source, compared to the current gas leak detection devices that require surveyors to walk right up to a meter or gas line. 

With more than 3,000 miles of gas pipeline to maintain, this equipment will improve the efficiency of gas leak surveys, especially in rural areas. 

“These leak detection devices are easy to use, and by using a UTV one person can survey many miles of line each day in a fraction of the time they could on foot,” said Cindy Strube, Midwest Energy’s Natural Gas Compliance Specialist. “This grant will enable us to reduce our natural gas line losses in a manner that’s safer for our employees and the general public, while reducing costs and environmental impacts.” 

Strube added that she expects to order the equipment later this year, and she expects it to be deployed to all of Midwest Energy’s gas reporting locations in 2024.