On a recent morning near downtown Northville, the relative quiet of an empty parking lot was interrupted by the arrival of 26 overhead power line work trucks and an accompanying group of line workers. After a review of grid maps, they depart to work at separate locations nearby.

By the end of the day, they will complete a series of electrical transformer upgrades – one of the final steps in a year-long project to provide more reliable electric service for 8,500 DTE customers in Northville.

This project is one small part of DTE’s multi-year investment focused on updating the energy infrastructure in our region. This year alone, DTE has completed upgrades in more than 200 neighborhoods throughout Michigan with plans to modernize more than half of the energy grid before the year 2020.

“We realize our customers depend increasingly on the electricity we provide,” said Heather Rivard, vice president, Distribution Operations, “That’s why we’re investing in the electrical grid to improve service now and in the future. Our efforts are paying off. Since 2014, our customers have seen a 65 percent decrease in the length of power outages.”

The $5.2 million Northville project includes the following work:

  • Strengthening 15 miles of power lines and installing nearly 400 new utility poles to create a grid that is stronger and better able to withstand severe weather;
  • Adding equipment to reduce the number of customers affected by outages;
  • Modernizing the substation located near the Northville Downs race track, and;
  • Relocating the most vital equipment from back yards to locations that are more easily accessible with large work trucks. This enables us to restore power faster.

DTE launched the project in Northville early last spring and expects completion of the work within the next few months.

“We’re committed to doing all we can to provide dependable electricity,” Rivard said. “Projects like this are a great example of how we’re making our system stronger and more reliable, in good weather and in bad.”

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