It’s Infrastructure Week, and across the country, utilities, businesses, labor organizations, and more are coming together to spread the word about why it is #TimeToBuild.
At DTE Energy, we’re already thinking ahead. Infrastructure is the foundation of our jobs. That’s why we have invested in a multi-year plan to strengthen our electric and gas systems to bring you safer, cleaner, more reliable energy and peace of mind.
This year, DTE gas crews will replace more than 140 miles of lines in Dearborn, the Grosse Pointe Farms, Park, Shores and Woods areas, Harper Woods, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Muskegon as part of a multi-year program to enhance the company’s natural gas infrastructure.
The plan also includes replacing cast-iron main lines as well as upgrading natural gas meters and relocating the equipment to building exteriors. The new flexible polyethylene lines are easier to transport, less costly to install and are corrosion-resistant. The pipe walls are thicker than those they replace and are also more resistant to cracks and pressure, reducing the potential for leaks.
A new website will allow residents of these areas to see where crews will be replacing lines as well as get more information about the upgrade process.
When it comes to keeping the lights on, DTE’s investments in smart meters, smart technologies and overall infrastructure modernization have improved electric service quality, resulting in 70 percent more reliable power for customers in 2016 compared to 2014. In addition, new and upgraded substations also are allowing the company to serve more customers, ensuring our electric system meets customer needs today and in the future.
Some of the electric infrastructure projects we’re currently working on include:
- Installing more smart grid sensors and new technologies, which help make the grid smarter and more responsive by monitoring power lines and assessing the health of the system so problems can be corrected before they occur, or be responded to more effectively when they do.
- Build four new substations and upgraded equipment in many other substations. DTE is improving substations and building new modern ones to prepare for increased customer demand in fast-growing areas such as Midtown Detroit and Ann Arbor.
- Upgrade equipment on customer-serving circuits, and replace utility poles to strengthen reliability. DTE is using new designs and materials that can better stand up to Michigan’s variety of severe weather, ultimately reducing storm damage and power outages.
- Trim trees. Trees can interfere with power lines and significantly damage equipment; toppled trees and branches are responsible for two-thirds of the time DTE customers spend without power.
- Complete a multi-year installation of more than 2.5 million electric smart meters. Smart meters provide customers with real time information on energy use through DTE’s mobile Insight app, while helping DTE to pinpoint outages quicker and restore customers faster.
DTE will continue its infrastructure investments throughout 2017 and beyond to assure customers are receiving safe, reliable, secure and affordable energy.
For more about DTE’s infrastructure investments view our Systems Improvement Overview.
Editor’s note: Brian Smith contributed to this story.