If you’ve visited downtown Ann Arbor recently, you may have noticed more DTE Energy crews and trucks in the area than usual. That’s because our grid modernization project in downtown is underway. 

After extensive planning, permitting, and working with the local government — the construction began in September 2021 and is expected to be completed by end of 2023. 

We’re replacing and installing new poles, reconfiguring overhead conductors, plus installing new underground conduit and cables. Additionally, we will be trimming or removing trees growing close to power lines. Trimming trees is not only necessary to make room for the new equipment, but it also improves reliability for customers. 

It’s all part of an about $20 million investment into Ann Arbor. The work will improve reliability and increasing the ability to serve future growth. It will also drive toward alignment with A2Zero goals. 

Our progress 

Over the past year, our crews have been hard at work upgrading our electrical infrastructure. Here’s what we’ve accomplished in Ann Arbor:  

  • Reconfigured around 39,000 feet of overhead electrical equipment. 
  • Replaced and installed over 100 new utility poles.
  • Installed more than 18,000 feet of underground conduit and cables. 
  • Trimmed 7.4 miles of trees along the lines that deliver power to homes and businesses. Overgrown branches account for 50% of the time customers spend without power. 

What’s next 

We will continue our reliability improvement work in downtown Ann Arbor. Our crew is on track to finish construction, and we will convert customers to the new system by the end of 2023.  

Once our upgrades are complete, customers in the area should see improvements in their reliability. This work also will increase the grid’s capacity to add new developments and customers, account for customers’ more technology-driven lifestyles and prepare the system for the move to cleaner energy solutions like EVs.  

To safely complete the remainder of the work, short outages and road closures will be required. We will continue to reach out to residents and businesses about upcoming outages or closures before they happen to help minimize impacts and disruptions caused by the work. 

To learn more about reliability work happening in Ann Arbor, visit empoweringmichigan.com/reliability-improvements/washtenaw-county/annarbor.