DTE Energy is building the grid of the future to help meet the power challenges of today and those that lie ahead.
DTE distributes electric power on more than 47,000 miles of lines spanning 13 counties in southeast Michigan and the Thumb, including the city of Detroit, serving more than 2.3 million customers. Proper maintenance and upgrades on those lines and the equipment connected to them is critical.
While no amount of engineering will fully eliminate outages during extreme weather events, when we invest to update and maintain our equipment, plus harden our infrastructure, we can reduce the overall frequency and duration of power outages. During the 2023 ice storm and snowstorms, customers on hardened circuits had 34% fewer outages. We saw even better results along hardened circuits within the city of Detroit.
Ramping up work in the Pole Top Maintenance and Modernization Program (PTMM) to make the grid more reliable, completing the 4.8kV Hardening program to improve safety and increase storm resiliency, and replacing aging, defective, obsolete, and otherwise at-risk infrastructure are all key parts DTE strategy to improve overall service and reliability for our customers.
PTMM crews inspect DTE overhead circuits, including all poles and pole-top equipment. Defective equipment (including poles, wooden crossarms, porcelain cutouts and porcelain insulators) and any other component that fails this inspection is replaced.
Why replace and upgrade?
Modern pole-top equipment is made of stronger materials, experiences less deterioration from weather elements and can better withstand increasing storms and wind gusts, resulting in fewer equipment failures and customer outages.
Fully maintaining plus upgrading equipment where needed will result in fewer outages and shorter outage durations, providing DTE customers with the power they need and the reliability they deserve.
Maintenance and upgrades are one part of the four-point plan which also includes:
- We know that downed trees and branches on our wires and equipment account for 50% of the time customers are without power. That’s why we enhanced our tree trimming program. Since 2020, we have invested more than $586 million in tree trimming.
Rebuilding significant portions of the grid
- There are portions of our grid that date back to the early 1900s. We must continue rebuilding older portions of our grid to improve resiliency and reliability. During this rebuild, there may be strategic opportunities to move wires underground.
Accelerating our transition to a smart grid
- How will this make a difference? By allowing us to automatically reroute service around outage areas, keeping more customers with power (in some cases up to 50% of impacted customers) and allow our crews to perform repairs safely and more quickly, even getting to a work site faster to assess and begin making repairs.
Building a world-class grid for our customers will take time – but the investment is critical for Michigan’s future.
Interested in seeing the work being done in your community? Visit our Electric Reliability Improvements Map online.