Electric Infrastructure Upgrades

Significant Investments to Our Electric System

With 47,000 miles of power lines, 1 million utility poles and nearly 4,000 circuits, DTE Energy makes significant investments every year across our 7,600-square mile electrical system. The result is a smarter, stronger energy system for businesses and homes across Michigan.

In addition to the continuous improvement of our electrical system, DTE Energy is a national leader in working efficiently to control costs. It's one of the many ways we are helping to build the advanced, cost-effective energy infrastructure to power Michigan's economy.

Substation Improvement Projects

New substations, and upgrades to existing stations, will help DTE Energy ensure our electric system meets customer needs today and in the future safely, reliably and affordably. The new stations, located throughout Southeast Michigan, will make the infrastructure stronger to reduce power outages and voltage fluctuations. The additional electrical capacity provided by the new equipment will also support future growth.

10 New Substation Projects to be Started in 2017

  • 1 general purpose substation—Bloomfield Township
  • 6 industrial substations—Livonia, Hazel Park, Plymouth, Shelby, Detroit and Dearborn
  • 3 short-term demand upcoming substations—Port Huron, Westland and Farmington Hills

Power Pole Replacement

We’re inspecting and upgrading thousands of utility poles throughout our electric service territory. Strong, sturdy utility poles are the backbone of a reliable electric system, which is why we have a pole auditing program to assess the structural integrity of all poles in service on a 10-year cycle.

Occasionally, poles need to be replaced for reasons other than decay and old age. Weather disasters, power line relocation, upgrades and car crashes are also potential causes for immediate replacement.

Overhead Power Lines

We’re replacing overhead power lines and other equipment to make our system more resilient. Overhead power lines are prone to damage caused by strong winds, ice, heat and accidents. Constant exposure to the elements can result in damage to overhead cables and eventual failure of the lines.

We’re working to fix outages before they occur, by replacing overhead power lines and other equipment to make our system more resilient. This essential maintenance will ensure we continue to provide reliable energy to homes and businesses for years to come.

Tree Trimming

Fallen trees and branches are responsible for two-thirds of the time our customers spend without power. In 2015, 62 percent of outage minutes were caused by tree related events. To increase electric service reliability and safety, DTE Energy’s Enhanced Tree Trimming Program works with our communities to prevent these outages from occurring in the first place. As part of our commitment to deliver reliable service, in 2016, we trimmed 650,000 trees growing too close to power lines.

Our work is paying off. In areas serviced by our tree trimming program, power outages have decreased by nearly 11,000 hours. (Represents improvements under the Enhanced Tree Trimming Program comparing 5-year average interruptions prior to trimming versus the period since trimming.)

Smart Grid Sensors

If we could look into the future and identify critical equipment that might malfunction, we could fix it before it causes a power outage. While that might sound like science fiction, we’re actually doing that today by installing thousands of smart grids throughout our system.

Smart grids monitor events that cause minor disturbances on the power grid—things like a tree touching a power line or a small dip in voltage due to a deteriorating piece of equipment. These events don’t typically raise alarms in conventional grid equipment, but smart grids give us precise insight into these disruptions so we can take quick corrective measures to prevent power outages and deliver more reliable service to our customers.

Smart Meters

Utilizing advanced technology, smart meters help us identify power outages and restore power as quickly and safely as possible. Smart meters also provide more accurate readings and empower our customers to control their energy use by providing usage patterns and real-time data. DTE Energy has installed more than 2.5 million electric smart meters since 2008.

Neighborhood Electric System Projects

North Ann Arbor
As part of our commitment to provide more reliable electricity to our customers, DTE Energy will be building a new distribution substation at Huron Parkway and Hubbard Street in north Ann Arbor. Existing power lines and equipment in this area will be upgraded as well. In addition to increasing reliability and safety, this project will significantly enhance the energy infrastructure and continue to make Ann Arbor a destination for high-tech businesses.

Southeast Oakland County
DTE Energy will launch a series of energy grid enhancements to improve electric service for more than 30,000 customers in Troy, Ferndale and Hazel Park. This multi-year investment includes the construction of two new electrical substations and upgrades to more than 55 miles of power lines. The $76 million project will enable DTE Energy to better isolate trouble spots and re-route power around damaged areas, ensuring quicker turnarounds after outages for our customers.

Extreme Temperatures

DTE Energy works hard year-round to make sure we deliver the safe, reliable power our 2.2 million electric customers expect, no matter what challenges the temperatures bring. Throughout the year, we perform inspections and maintenance on our electrical distribution system so our equipment is in optimal condition for extreme summer and winter weather.