Pushing ahead with its ongoing projects, Consumers Energy announced this week that it would finish more than 2,000 electric initiatives by the end of 2022, from power line work to replacing poles and new substations.
Since 2020, the company assessed all 60,000 miles of its electric lines in Michigan to prioritize fixing circuits that face the most outages. This year’s efforts included clearing tree branches from about 7,100 miles of power lines, replacing 10,000 poles with sturdier modern versions, deployment of smart technology, and undergrounding power lines in areas in certain areas to maximize their benefit for less cost. Further, nearly 100 substations were either upgraded, rebuilt, or expanded this year.
Since last year, circuit upgrades have reportedly led to 70 percent fewer customer outages.
“We have shortened the average length of power outages and reduced the number of customers impacted by outages,” Greg Salisbury, Consumers Energy’s vice president of electric distribution engineering, said. “More than 96 percent of customers impacted by outages in 2022 were restored in less than 24 hours. We are making progress and will continue to make improvements in the years to come.”
All updates have been undertaken as part of Consumers’ larger five-year, $5.4 billion Electric Reliability Plan. That plan incorporated means to best address the effects of climate change, which have induced more frequent and severe weather events worldwide. This year’s projects could impact as many as 1 million of the 1.9 million homes and businesses the company services throughout Michigan.
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