DTE Energy crews are digging into the company’s infrastructure to help keep the power on for customers. As part of our plan to build the grid of the future, crews have been in the Midtown area since 2018 to rebuild and upgrade the underground conduit, cables and transformers that deliver power to this area of the city with stronger electrical equipment.

This work, which is expected to be completed by 2030, is part of a larger $200 million project that includes: 

  • Installing smart grid devices, which can help reroute power to many customers during an outage. 
  • Rebuilding 60 miles of wires, transformers and electrical equipment with more durable, upgraded equipment
  • Replacing utility poles with stronger ones that can better withstand extreme weather 
  • Trimming trees near power lines 

Once the work is completed, we expect a 90% improvement in reliability for customers in Detroit’s Cultural Center, Eastern Market, Forest Park, McDougall-Hunt northern Midtown, Medbury Park, Medical Center, Poletown East and Wayne State neighborhoods who are served by an updated substation and equipment. This means people in the area will experience fewer and shorter outages, especially during storms. The work will also increase safety and the grid’s capacity to support growth and clean energy solutions, like electric vehicles. 


Recently, crews finished up a project at a Wayne State University building on Ferry Street between Woodward and Cass. An overhead wire system was converted to an underground cable system, which upgraded the power supply from a lower voltage to the new higher voltage.

Crews also started a new underground job at Cass and Hancock. They began replacing 200 feet of conduit and cables, strengthening the existing underground system in place. They have also been working on undergrounding on Alexandrine Street between Third Avenue and Second Avenue.

After a recent completion of an undergrounding job, crews replaced the landscaping in Green Alley off Second Avenue between Canfield and Prentis. Sometimes during undergrounding work, existing landscaping or natural plants must be removed. This crew gave back by replacing what they had to take out to complete the initial work.

When systems are moved underground, new net banks are also installed above ground that hold the transformers. A transformer was recently powered on for the Midtown neighborhood.

Once the new, modernized power delivery infrastructure is in place, we will switch customers over to the new system that will be served by new substations in the area. All this work is expected to be completed by 2030.   

Rebuilding is just one part of our plan to improve reliability. We’re also upgrading existing infrastructure, accelerating our transition to a smart grid and trimming trees. All this work will help improve electric service for our customers.   

Read more about work happening in your neighborhood at empoweringmichigan.com/reliability-improvements or visit our electric reliability improvements map.