Delivering energy this summer

When it comes to generation, DTE works closely with an organization called the Midcontinent Independent System Operator or MISO that is responsible for operating the grid across 15 states and one Canadian province. MISO recently issued its annual summer assessment for grid operations, which may have caught your attention because of the emergency procedures outlined in the report. Specifically, MISO mentioned the potential of “rolling brownouts” that occur during extreme heat events this summer.

However, when reviewing the report and understanding its implications, it’s important to understand the difference between power generation and distribution.

Generation is DTE’s ability to produce usable power. DTE is the largest energy producer in the state of Michigan, and the company has the energy needed to serve customers – plus reserves – even during the hottest days of summer.

Power distribution is how DTE provides it to customers efficiently and reliably. This function is typically impacted by severe weather the most, pulling down trees and damaging equipment. On this front, DTE is making a $7 billion, five-year investment in the electric grid including:

  • Deploying a new command center and smart technologies
  • Trimming trees – because trees are a major cause of outages
  • Accelerating pole-top maintenance
  • Building new substations
  • Planning for buried line and battery storage pilots

Here’s what you need to know about MISO’s Summer Capacity Assessment:

  • DTE does not expect rolling brownouts inside the DTE area, and the company is preparing for all scenarios so customers can have a great summer.
  • When the region – not the DTE service territory – is at risk of falling short because of high demand, DTE is required by MISO to respond to the call to make sure as many people as possible in the Midwest have energy.
  • If needed, DTE also has large number of customers on voluntary, interruptible rates that can be curtailed to help maintain regional system reliability.
  • In extreme situations, DTE may ask customers to turn their thermostats up and shut off lights and appliances that aren’t being used to help the broader region.

As DTE continues its generation transformation to cleaner sources of power, like natural gas and renewables, rest assure that the company is carefully planning this transition. In fact, its new Blue Water Energy Center power plant launched in early June and is the cleanest, most efficient natural gas power plant in the United States.

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