DTE Energy is continuing to improve reliability for residents and businesses in Van Buren Township by constructing a new substation and rebuilding the overhead and underground infrastructure that deliver power to the community. This work is part of our four-point plan to help to keep the lights on for customers.  

This $35 million project, which began in 2021 and is expected to be complete in 2024, includes:  

  • Constructing a new electric substation. 
  • Replacing about a mile and a half of overhead and underground wires and electrical equipment that delivers power to Van Buren Township. 
  • Installing new, stronger utility poles that can better withstand extreme weather. 
  • Trimming trees growing close to power lines. Fallen trees are responsible for 50% of the time our customers spend without power. Trees can fall onto electrical wires and cause outages for our customers during extreme weather, as well as on blue sky days. Trimming not only clears space for new equipment, but it also improves electric reliability for customers. 
  • Installing smart grid technology. 
What will this work do for me? 

In addition to helping keep lights on for customers— especially during extreme weather — the work will improve the grid’s safety and capacity. The added capacity will support new residents and businesses moving to the area. It also will let customers incorporate more clean energy solutions like electric vehicles and more electric appliances. 

Where are you at with construction? 

The substation construction, which began this summer, is well underway. Crews are doing underground work. This includes installing underground electrical equipment and conduit installation (conduit is the piping that protects underground wires), foundations, manholes, stormwater management systems and more. Once the underground work is complete later this year, we will begin installing electrical equipment above ground. 

Crews also have been working on rebuilding the underground and overhead distribution systems in Van Buren Township. So far, crews have completed the overhead work, including installing new utility poles, wires, transformers and more. They have also completed installation of underground conduit throughout the community.  

Crews will begin pulling new cables through the conduit later this year. 

Finally, we will begin installing smart grid technology, including reclosers, on utility poles in the coming months. Reclosers can automatically reroute power to many customers during an outage, so they continue to have power while we make repairs.  

To follow the substation construction or to learn more about work happening in your neighborhood as part of our four-point plan, visit empoweringmichigan.com/reliability-improvements.