The DTE plan: Improving reliability for electric customers


This content is from our sponsor, DTE. The FOX editorial was not involved in the creation of this content.

This is a transformational time for Michigan. From extreme weather becoming an everyday occurrence to adoption of electric vehicles, the power grid is both changing and challenged like never before. DTE has a plan to meet that challenge – By investing in and building the grid of the future.

We have already invested more than $5 billion upgrading our grid over the last five years alone. We must continue that investment to provide our customers with the power they need and the reliability they deserve.

Our plan is focused in four key areas:

Trimming trees

  • We know that downed trees and branches on our wires and equipment account for two-thirds of the time people are without power. That’s why we enhanced our tree trimming program. Since 2020, we have invested more than $586 million in tree trimming and we’re on track to invest an additional $175 million this year.
  • We trimmed more than 25,000 miles of trees over the last five years and will trim 5,000 miles more in 2023.
  • At the end of 2024 we will have aggressively trimmed every mile of our grid and will continue trimming on a 5-year cycle

Updating existing infrastructure

  • We must continue with investing in the maintenance of our existing equipment. In 2022, on some of our most challenged circuits where we have focused this ongoing maintenance work, customers saw reliability improve by 40-70%.

Rebuilding significant portions of the grid

  • Detroit was one of the first cities in the nation to fully electrify. But that was more than a century ago, and now it’s one of the country’s oldest grids. It’s time to invest in rebuilding portions of that grid to greatly improve resiliency and reliability. During this rebuild, there may be strategic opportunities to move wires underground.

Accelerating our transition to a smart grid

  • With our new Systems Operations Center and recent launch of our state-of-the-art grid management system, DTE has laid the foundation of investing in smart grid technology.
  • In many cases, this technology will help us quickly pinpoint damaged areas on the grid and isolate outages to restore many customers in minutes.
  • How will this make a difference? This system allows us to automatically reroute service around the outage area, keeping more customers with power (in some cases up to 80% of impacted customers) and allow our crews to perform repairs safely and more quickly, even getting to a work site 50% faster to assess and begin making repairs.
  • A great analogy of how this works is to think of a modern string of holiday lights. In years gone by, one light would go out and then none of the others would work. Now, if one or two go out… the rest remain on. Simply put, that’s what automation on the smart grid can help us get done.

We’ve made significant investments in the grid, but we’re not done. Over the next five years, we plan to invest more than $9 billion more in our grid to make it safer and more reliable for customers.

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.


This content is from our sponsor, DTE. The FOX editorial was not involved in the creation of this content.