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DTE Energy shares electric grid modernization plan for SE Michigan

DTE Energy Co. plans to invest $7 billion over the next five years to modernize southeast Michigan’s electric grid and prepare for increasing demand from electric vehicles.

Portions of the electric grid that are 90 years old remain in operation. The investment will seek to combat power outages, especially in light of increasing storm frequency and strength. The intention by the Detroit-based utility is to decrease costly outages and provide greater reliability to its 2.3 million modern customers.

“This visionary plan recognizes that our customers’ homes and businesses interact with the electric grid in ways we couldn’t imagine just 20 years ago, and the future of mobility is being revolutionized again in Michigan through electrification, all of which means the grid we share must be adapted to the 21st century,” DTE CEO Jerry Norcia said in a statement. “Much of our grid was designed and built more than a century ago, providing customers the energy required for a much simpler day-to-day life.”

Funds will help to update and build new substations throughout the utility’s footprint in Metro Detroit and the Thumb region of Michigan. These efforts will add 700 megawatts of capacity — enough to power 110,000 electric vehicles or 180,000 residential homes.