DTE has been implementing a four-point plan to improve our electric grid, including trimming trees, upgrading infrastructure, rebuilding older sections of the grid and accelerating our transition to a smart grid. Crews have been rebuilding the infrastructure that delivers power to homes and businesses in Northwest and Downtown Ann Arbor since 2021.  

The work includes installing new poles, replacing miles of overhead and underground wires, installing smart grid technology and trimming or removing trees growing close to power lines.  

Although this work will help us deliver safer, more reliable power to residents and businesses, it also will drive toward a cleaner energy future. The new equipment will greatly increase the grid’s capacity — this means there will be more than enough electric load to support clean energy solutions like electric vehicles, more electric appliances versus gas, etc. Additionally, the modernized electric system will help us better integrate distributed energy resources (DER) — like wind, solar, battery storage, microgrids and more — into the existing grid in the future. 

The $20 million investment is moving toward alignment with Ann Arbor’s aspirational A2Zero goals. 

What have you done so far? 

  • Inspected more than 11 miles of overhead infrastructure, replacing and reconfiguring lines and equipment where needed.
  • Inspected over three miles of underground conduit and cables, replacing and installing new equipment where necessary.
  • Replaced and installed around 150 new utility poles.  
  • Trimmed 7.4 miles of trees along the lines that deliver power to homes and businesses. Overgrown trees and their branches account for 50% of the time customers spend without power.   

What’s next? 

We will finish installing the new electrical equipment and convert customers to the new system later this year. Customers can stay up to date on this work and more at empoweringmichigan.com/reliability-improvements.