Dozens of DTE trucks, engineers and field employees recently spent several days canvassing the Village of Almont addressing opportunities to strengthen the electrical grid. The village has had a series of unfortunate events that have impacted the power quality in the area, and DTE is committed to improving reliability for the community.
Almont was hit hard in July when two waves of severe thunderstorms caused nearly 600,000 DTE customers to lose power. About a week later, equipment at the substation serving Almont failed, and when crews were making final repairs at the substation in mid-August, a portion of one circuit experienced another outage. Then at the end of the month, high winds caused a utility pole to break and tree limbs to fall into power lines, causing yet another outage.
“We are sorry for this string of events in Almont. In every instance, crews worked quickly and safely to restore power and repair damage,” said Sandeev Sarna, Director, Northeast Region Distribution Customer Operations. “Many worked 16-hour shifts around the clock.”
After the most recent outage in late August, the energy company recognized the need to upgrade and repair some of the electrical infrastructure outside of the routine maintenance schedule.
“We know having multiple outages back to back can be frustrating and an inconvenience, so after a rapid assessment of the electric grid in Almont, we expedited several infrastructure projects,” Sarna said.
The crews replaced 30 pole tops, 100 insulators, 130 fuses, transformers and poles that could cause problems. Spot tree trimming was also performed in some areas, as trees are responsible for two-thirds of the time our customers are without power. In addition, a portable generator was recently brought into the area to provide additional support.
“Customers in the area should start to see improvements this week,” Sarna said.
Right now, DTE is working on a multi-year substation project in Almont that will provide additional electric load capacity to support the region’s growth and development. More information will be forthcoming when the project gets underway.
Over the next few years, DTE will make significant investments to improve reliability across its electrical system. Find out more about the investments and work.