In Michigan, we’re used to seeing orange barrels along roads that signify improvements to our roadways are underway. When it comes to your electricity, DTE Energy trucks can serve as a similar sign of improvement. Over the last year, you may have noticed DTE trucks on Grosse Ile and wondered what we’ve been working on. Our crews have been replacing and upgrading electrical equipment to increase reliability for the nearly 10,000 DTE customers on the island.  

That work included digging under the Detroit River to replace vital trunk lines that deliver power from the mainland to Grosse Ile. Our crews skillfully bored 60 feet below ground and 3,000 feet across the Detroit River, which is necessary to install the trunklines. They have also been preparing to install the trunklines by fusing together 3,000 feet of pipes (also known as conduit).  

What’s next?

Now that the initial bore and pipe fusing are complete, crews will begin to pull the pipe through the hole drilled under the Detroit River, which is expected to take a full day. The 24-inch pipe is designed to keep water away from the electric equipment under the river — ensuring that reliable power reaches our customers on the Island. 

After the pipe is installed, our crews will work to pull the new cables through the pipe and energize them. 

This work is part of DTE’s $14 million investment to upgrade the grid on Grosse Ile. The work will increase the grid’s capacity to support Grosse Ile’s growing energy needs and is an important part of DTE’s commitment to building the grid of the future.  

Upgrading electrical equipment is just one component of DTE’s plan to increase reliability for customers. We’re also trimming the trees that account for 50% of the time our customers spend without power and rebuilding older sections of the DTE grid. DTE also is investing in smart grid technology, allowing power to be rerouted to customers during an outage, so they continue to have electric service while we make repairs. 

Learn more about reliability improvement work happening in your community at empoweringmichigan.com/reliability-improvements.