With power outages happening more frequently as a result of inclement weather, Consumers Energy has vowed to invest $100 million in upgrades to improve reliability for customers.
The High Voltage Distribution (HVD) system, nicknamed the “Backbone of the Power Grid,” will receive significant upgrades thanks to the 2022 investment. The HVD enhancements will impact roughly 130,000 customers across the state of Michigan.
Josh Paciorek, Consumers Energy Media Spokesperson, said, “Our job is to keep the lights on for folks and when those lights don’t come on, they’re frustrated.” Paciorek explained they are taking such proactive steps ahead of the storm season to ensure clients have a more reliable, resilient power grid.
Over the past number of years, Michigan has seen an increased amount of severe weather, including a recent tornado in Gaylord. These once-in-100-year weather events are becoming increasingly common, with 70 to 80 MPH wind gusts that can wreak havoc on the power grid.
In an effort to make electricity more reliable, Paciorek said Consumers Energy needs to upgrade and make investments to ensure the grid is more resilient.
Over 40 miles of HVD lines will be rebuilt, as well as repairing more than 64 miles of HVD line pole-top equipment. Roughly 750 poles will be replaced, and novel technology will enable Consumers Energy to swiftly identify power outages.
The upgrades performed by Consumers Energy throughout 2022 represent a segment of their larger effort to build a better energy grid through its five-year, $5.4 billion Electric Reliability Plan.
Efforts such as trimming trees, replacing poles and wires, improving substations, and replacing vital equipment are all high priorities, especially with the pressure from climate change affecting the weather and causing more frequent, severe weather storms.
Since 2018, Consumers Energy has also raised its investment in forestry by over 60 percent. Trees are the number one cause of power outages, so the plan has a section dedicated to increasing spending to keep distribution lines clear. The plan currently outlines more than $500 million throughout five years.
The reliability plan will also reduce the average length of time that customers are powerless by roughly 15 percent by 2025.
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Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/