DTE Energy is working to build the grid of the future through our four-point plan: trimming trees, upgrading existing infrastructure, accelerating our transition to a smart grid and rebuilding older sections of the grid.
In Pontiac, we’re investing more than $31 million to rebuild the overhead and underground infrastructure that delivers power to homes and businesses. As part of this project, we are expanding the underground electrical system in the area.
Recently, crews have been working along Edison Street, from Montcalm to Marquette, to build the infrastructure needed to install new underground cables. These wires will deliver energy from the local electric substation to downtown Pontiac.
To prepare for the new wire installation, crews are digging trenches, installing conduit (pipes that will house and protect electrical wires) and building manholes. Manholes are underground facilities along streets that allow crews to repair, splice (which is where crews join two cables together) or install new underground cables.
Once that is complete, we will begin pulling the new cables through the conduit. We expect to energize the new lines in 2024.
In addition to the underground expansion, we are rebuilding older sections of the underground and overhead infrastructure in Pontiac. The rebuild includes:
- Replacing 15 miles of overhead and underground wires, transformers, and other electrical equipment.
- Installing new, stronger utility poles that can better withstand extreme weather.
- Trimming trees growing close to power lines. This will make room for the new equipment, as well as improve reliability for customers.
- Incorporating smart grid technology that will allow us to reroute power to a significant number of customers during outages. This technology is currently installed in our underground vaults. It will also be installed on our overhead poles during the upcoming work.
- Expanding and modernizing equipment at the substation that powers Pontiac.
All this work will improve electric reliability for our customers, especially during extreme weather. It will also increase the grid’s safety and capacity. The added capacity will allow us to deliver reliable power to new homes and businesses. It also will enable customers to incorporate cleaner energy solutions like electric vehicles.
Short power outages and partial road closures will be necessary to complete the work. We will continue to notify customers in the area if work affects them.