1958 - Gas is first injected into Troy Grove underground storage field
Celebrating 60 Years
In the early 1950s, excess summertime supplies were diverted into limited storage facilities or sold for low priority uses. While northern Illinois doesn’t have sandy beaches our mountain views, what it does have are vast underground sandstone formations, which proved to be perfect for storing natural gas.
By 1958, company engineers and geologists discovered an underground dome-shaped reservoir or “aquifer” near Troy Grove in LaSalle County. Taking full advantage of this geography, Nicor Gas established its first storage field which revolutionized the company’s storage capabilities.
Today, Nicor Gas has eight underground storage facilities that, combined, have about 150 billion cubic feet of annual storage capacity. However, as Nicor Gas’ largest storage facility, Troy Grove accounts for approximately one-third of that. It’s estimated that the facility has enough natural gas in storage to manage the heating needs of residential customers in Mendota for the next 148 years.
Troy Grove is also home to Nicor Gas’ Fire School, where natural gas fire training is given to firefighters throughout its northern Illinois service territory. The 10-acre site has more than a dozen unique scenarios designed to test and expand participants' knowledge on how to effectively and safely extinguish natural gas-fueled fires.
During the training, which is provided at no cost to participating departments, firefighters can test the use of water and dry chemicals, used separately and together, to extinguish natural gas and various other types of fires. The training is hosted in conjunction with the Illinois Fire Services Institute.
The fire school is not only offered to first responders in the communities served by Nicor Gas, but also to its employees, from field operations to human resources. Our safety training, operating standards and around-the-clock monitoring meet and exceed all state and federal regulations. That’s because nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and our communities.