DTE Energy upgrades power system to improve electric reliability

DTE Energy

DTE Energy is replacing power distribution poles, stringing new power lines and adding new equipment, all to improve power reliability for families and businesses in the Belmont neighborhood of northwest Detroit.

In areas where similar work has been completed, power reliability has been improved by an average of 44 percent.

The work in the Belmont neighborhood, in the area of Puritan Avenue and Greenfield Road, began in late August and is on schedule to be completed this month. It is one of 114 reliability projects undertaken this year alone. Since 2013, the company has completed more than 400 reliability improvement projects.

"Over the last few years we have worked to improve service reliability for our customers, taking a careful look at outages and equipment to ensure we are investing in projects that will provide the greatest benefits for customers," said Heather Rivard, vice president, distribution operations. "This year, we are seeing our best overall reliability performance in eight years."

Reliability improvement projects typically include new power lines, poles and other equipment that are more resistant to storm damage, all essential to keeping the power on. Projects may also include installation of components that minimize the number of customers impacted when outages do occur and advanced controls that identify potential equipment problems before they happen and automatically re-route electricity around trouble spots.

The program goal is to complete upgrades on 1,300 circuits throughout southeast Michigan by 2020, at a total projected cost of about $415 million.

"We're continuously working to make the electrical system stronger, to better withstand storms and extreme weather and help get our customers' lives quickly back to normal again after outages occur," Rivard said.

DTE expects to invest at least $6.6 billion in its electrical distribution system over the next 10 years.

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