MACOMB COUNTY, Mich., July 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy is celebrating today completion of a $175 million investment at its Ray Compressor Station, the "crown jewel" of the company's natural gas system because of its excellent storage and delivery capabilities for 1.7 million customers throughout Michigan. "For more than 125 years Consumers Energy has been part of the foundation of Michigan's growth and success. This large-scale project included comprehensive upgrades to our Ray facility to ensure that we can continue to provide safe, reliable and affordable service to customers across the state," said Daniel J. Malone, senior vice president of distribution and customer operations for Consumers Energy. Assisting in recognizing the importance of the Ray Compressor Station and its ability to both store and deliver vast quantities of natural gas will be U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, State Rep. Ken Goike, Michigan Public Service Commission Chairman John Quakenbush, as well as local officials and Consumers Energy employees. ( PHOTOS: Download Ray Compressor Station photos from our Flickr media gallery, first two photos, top left: www.flickr.com/photos/consumersenergy/sets/72157634342591265/) "Modern technology allows us to tap into great amounts of natural gas, which is the cleanest fossil fuel available, and it is wonderful to see companies like Consumers Energy using this resource to benefit the great state of Michigan," Rep. Miller said. "Consumers Energy has been a model citizen to our state and the Ray Compressor Station is just another example of this company showing its commitment to providing Michigan consumers with safe energy and top-notch service." Construction on the Ray project began in 2010 and concluded earlier this year. All labor was Michigan-based and included 12 local unions that along with Consumers Energy employees worked over 850,000 hours to complete the project. Enhancements to the Ray Compressor Station give Consumers Energy the ability to continue providing safe, reliable and affordable natural gas service for its customers. The Ray Compressor Station and its associated storage field provide enough gas to serve approximately 40 percent, or 680,000, of Consumers Energy's 1.7 million natural gas customers during the winter season. Natural gas is an increasingly popular fuel of choice among all sectors, including electric generation, because of its competitive price and environmental advantages.