This year, DTE Energy released its five-year electric infrastructure action plan, which includes upgrading thousands of miles of power lines, hundreds of circuits, dozens of substations and more across southeast Michigan.  These efforts will help to create a stronger, smarter energy grid with best-in-class design and technology standards that will power the region’s homes and businesses.

We’ve already started this work, with projects underway in Detroit, Ferndale, Macomb, Pontiac and Ann Arbor, where new substations and other upgrades will help improve reliability for customers.

The work at a glance

The electric system serving Ann Arbor was built over a span of nearly 100 years, adding substations and circuits as the city – and university – grew.  Today’s Ann Arbor – with modern homes, high-tech businesses and growing population, requires additional upgrades to continue to provide safe, reliable and affordable power to its residents. The current energy grid must be updated in order to continue to meet the growing needs of the area.  Along with extensive tree-trimming across the Ann Arbor area, two key infrastructure upgrades will take place, requiring tens of thousands of hours of work to complete.

Substation Project at Argo/Buckler

By the end of 2018, DTE Energy will transfer three entire circuits and a portion of two circuits from its Argo substation to Buckler substation, updating the design and technology. Circuit improvement programs like this one are designed to improve resilience and harden the electric system. That means we’re able to reduce the number of outage events and limit the number of customers impacted when an outage does occur. These types of upgrades, along with tree trimming, provide the most significant increase in reliability for customers.

Ann Arbor/University of Michigan System Strengthening

DTE is also constructing two new substations, located at the corner of Hubbard and Huron Parkway and on State Street north of Eisenhower Parkway. This work will address the current infrastructure’s woes of an interconnected system that ties one substation to another, causing disruption in power to customers miles away from where the outage event occurred. This will also accommodate the population shift that the area has seen over the years and help adapt to the changing needs of customers at home and at work into the future.

Overall, this work will do more than increase the reliability of Ann Arbor’s power. It will:

  • Strengthen the economy of SE Michigan: Improvements to electric infrastructure will bring jobs through both DTE hires and partnerships with local contractors and businesses.

Create efficiencies for customers: New, smart technologies on DTE’s energy grid reduce operating expenditures and provide ways for customers to better manage their own usage. This means savings for our residential and business customers.