DTE Energy is working to build the grid of the future in Ann Arbor. We have a four-point plan to improve reliability and improve our grid to support the evolving needs of customers now and far in the future — including trimming trees, upgrading existing infrastructure, rebuilding older sections of the grid and accelerating our transition to a smart grid.
Over the past five years, we invested $175 million to implement our four-point plan in Washtenaw County, much of which was in Ann Arbor. But we aren’t stopping there. Additionally, we will invest more than $170 million to build the grid of the future across Ann Arbor over the next five years.
What this means for you
This work will significantly improve the grid’s safety, reliability and resiliency, helping to keep the lights on for customers, especially during extreme weather.
It will also double the grid’s current capacity. This means the city will have more than enough reliable power to support Ann Arbor’s growth. It also will allow customers to incorporate more clean energy solutions like electric vehicles and electric appliances, driving toward alignment with Ann Arbor’s aspirational A2Zero goals. Additionally, the modernized electric system will help us better integrate wind, solar, battery storage, microgrids and more into the existing grid in the future.
Through our more than $170 million investment over the next five years, we will begin rebuilding the infrastructure that delivers power to every area of the city. This includes:
- Rebuilding the overhead and underground infrastructure that delivers power to downtown, North and Northwest Ann Arbor. We began construction on this more than $20 million project in 2021, and it will be complete this year.
- Constructing a new substation and rebuilding overhead and underground infrastructure that delivers power to Superior Township and Northeast Ann Arbor. We began construction on this more than $40 million project in summer 2023, and it will be complete in 2028.
- Rebuilding the infrastructure that powers the southeast and west sides of Ann Arbor in the coming years. Each of those projects will continue for several years and will be $40 million to $60 million apiece.
- Installing smart grid equipment called reclosers on our overhead infrastructure throughout Ann Arbor. These reclosers help automatically isolate and reroute power to many of our customers during an outage — keeping the lights on for more customers while our crews make repairs.
- Trimming trees. About 70% of the time our customers spend without power is because of fallen trees. Since 2019, we have been executing a “surge” program to trim trees in our communities. We completed trimming along nearly 600 miles of trees in Washtenaw County in 2022 alone.
All this work will help us provide the power customers need and reliability they deserve. Stay informed on work happening throughout Ann Arbor at empoweringmichigan.com/reliability-improvements.