As the temperatures drop and furnaces require extra power, you may have wondered, does DTE Energy have the power to keep you warm?
“Whether it’s hot or cold – we are ready,” said Ryan Stowe, vice president of Distribution Operations.
This past fall, DTE distribution system experts, technicians and engineers in our power-generating plants performed preventative inspections and maintenance on the electrical distribution system to prepare for frigid temperatures. In addition, last year we spent an extensive amount of time making ongoing system improvements to our infrastructure, from upgrading and inspecting nearly 65,000 poles and wires to investing in new technologies. Crews installed over 1,500 sensors in the field to help monitor the grid and expedite restoration efforts.
DTE also trimmed nearly 4,000 miles of trees along our electrical lines– that’s from Michigan to Utah and back! Trimming trees prevents limbs and branches from damaging our equipment—a leading cause of power outages.
The 2019 polar vortex proved that DTE can handle extremely cold temperatures – our region experienced the coldest temperatures in decades. The demand for power increased and we kept our customers warm, plus provided power to other energy companies.
“We used our standby power plants, known as ‘peakers,’ to generate an additional 950 MW of electricity when other utilities were struggling,” said Rahn Ledesma, supervisor, plant operations. “The employees worked in the dangerously cold temperatures to ensure we could provide electricity to our customers and we did it safely. The balance between urgency and safety is not always easy, but our employees proved that it can be done.”
DTE is in the footprint of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, an independent, not-for-profit organization that delivers safe, cost-effective electric power across 15 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba.