DTE Energy is committed to reducing outages by 30% and cutting outage time in half by 2029. To reach this goal, we’re continuing to execute our plan to build the grid of the future 

In Van Buren Township, we’ve been working since 2021, to rebuild the infrastructure that delivers power to residents and businesses in the community. When completed, the work will result in an improvement in reliability for customers served by the updated equipment.  

The work, which is a $35 million investment in Van Buren Township, includes:  

  • Installing smart grid devices. Installed on top of power poles, these devices are designed to:  
  • Improve safety. Reclosers can automatically detect and deenergize downed wires, helping to keep customers safe.  
  • Help us quickly identify the damage location that causes an outage, so crews can make repairs quicker.   
  • Reroute power around the outage, so we can restore power for many of our customers while crews make repairs.  
  • Constructing a new electric substation.  
  • Replacing over a mile of utility poles, overhead wires, underground cable, conduit and transformers with stronger, upgraded electrical equipment that can better withstand extreme weather 
  • Trimming trees growing close to power lines to help keep power on. Trees and branches that damage electrical equipment are responsible for half the time our customers spend without power.  

In addition to significantly improving reliability, the work will also improve safety and the grid’s capacity. The added capacity will allow us to support growth and more electric energy options like electric vehicles. 

Construction progress 

Rebuilt the overhead wires, poles, transformers and other equipment that helps deliver power. 

Installed new underground piping, called conduit, that will house the new below-ground cables 

  • We are currently pulling the new cables into the conduit throughout the area. The underground work will be done next year after the substation is fully constructed.   
  • Installed new reclosers on power poles in the area. 
  • Completed underground substation construction, including installing conduit (conduit is the piping that protects underground wires), foundations, manholes, stormwater management systems and more.  
  • Assembled the above ground steel structures inside the substation and placed electrical equipment like transformers, switches, circuit breakers and more. 
  • We are currently testing substation equipment and cable connections to ensure they are working properly 

Once the work at the substation is completed this summer and the remaining underground cables are installed in the community, we will begin switch customers over to the new equipment powered by the new substation. We will finish converting customers’ service by the end of the year. At this time, customers should experience greater power quality. 

Rebuilding work like this is part of our plan to build the grid of the future. This also includes transitioning to a smart grid, upgrading existing infrastructure and trimming trees. Stay up to date on this project and other work happening in your community at empoweringmichigan.com/reliability-improvements.