Consumers Energy, a regulated utility in Jackson, today announced plans for $100 million of investment in 2022 to reduce both the number and length of power outages and increase reliability by upgrading its high voltage distribution (HVD) system.
A large part the planned investment to the HVD system in 2022 is on HVD lines, and upgrades will impact approximately 130,000 Consumers Energy electric customers across the state. Work planned includes:
- Rebuilding nearly 40 miles of HVD lines.
- Rehabilitating over 64 miles of HVD line pole top equipment.
- Replacing 750 poles.
- Installing new technology that will enable Consumers Energy to isolate and restore outages more quickly and effectively.
The HVD system connects the electric transmission system to Consumers Energy’s low voltage distribution (LVD) system. The HVD system carries electricity at either 46,000 volts or 138,000 volts. Consumers Energy’s network of distribution substations and smaller transformers then step the voltage down progressively for safe delivery to homes and businesses.
This year’s HVD upgrades are part of the company’s larger efforts to build a more reliable and resilient energy grid through its five-year, $5.4 billion Electric Reliability Plan. The company says the plan is a blueprint for serving Michigan today and innovating to meet the challenges of the future.
Investments such as trimming trees, replacing poles and wires, and upgrading substations and key equipment are top priorities, especially with climate change causing more frequent and severe weather events.
Through the reliability plan, Consumers Energy plans to reduce the average length of time that customers are without power by nearly 15 percent from 2020 to 2025. Consumers Energy is Michigan’s largest energy provider, providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.8 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
“The HVD system is the backbone of our power grid. Making these improvements will help us deliver more reliable energy that is clean and affordable to our electric customers,” says Tim Sparks, vice president of electric grid integration of Consumers Energy.
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to ConsumersEnergy.com.