Note from the editor: This year as part of our 20th Anniversary we are not only looking back at the past, but also setting our sights on the future. This new column, Future Fridays, will feature guest blog posts from WBENC’s America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises as they share insights on the future of doing business with them and their industry.
TAKING ACTION NOW TO PROVIDE MORE RELIABLE, CLEANER ENERGY IN THE FUTURE
DTE Energy is on a journey to become the best-operated energy company in North America. A transition to cleaner sources of energy, together with significant infrastructure investments to improve reliability, is helping us get there faster.
DTE Energy is in the midst of wide-ranging multi-year program to create a smarter, more reliable electric system while keeping rates below the national average. By taking actions to modernize our grid now, we are creating a system that will be prepared for Michigan's energy needs today and in the future.
Our investments in smart meters, smart technologies and overall infrastructure modernization have improved service quality, resulting in 70 percent more reliable power for customers in 2016 compared to 2014.
In 2017, we began construction on four new substations, upgraded equipment on over 200 customer-serving circuits, and replaced approximately 3,000 utility poles to strengthen reliability.
On the natural gas side of our business, DTE is upgrading portions of the natural gas infrastructure to ensure customers continue to have a safe and reliable natural gas service. The five-year program involves replacing mainly cast iron pipe lines with lines made of newer, more durable material to deliver natural gas from the gas mains to homes and businesses. DTE also is upgrading natural gas meters with the latest technology and relocating the equipment to the outside of homes.
The work is important for the long-term safety and reliability of the natural gas distribution system. A smarter, up-to-date infrastructure gives customers reliability, control, flexibility and choice in how they manage their energy We completed 100 miles of natural gas main replacement in 2016. We plan to replace 130 miles of main this year.
Cleaner energy sources
Through the development of renewable energy projects, DTE is also building a more sustainable future for Michigan.
Today, DTE is Michigan's largest investor in renewable energy, including wind and solar, having driven investments of more than $2 billion in renewable energy since 2008. We view renewable energy as an important part of a diversified and balanced energy portfolio. We now have 31 solar parks in operation, with enough clean energy generation capacity to power more than 14,000 homes.
This commitment also supports local economic development as well. A wind park that went into commercial operation last December, for example, employed 150 people during project construction
As DTE Energy continues its focus on better serving customers now and in the future, we will look to partner with suppliers who can support this transition. This includes those companies who can align with our commitments to working both safely and sustainably. We are also focusing on shifting our purchases to local and Detroit-based suppliers as well as women and minority-owned businesses.
We expect our focus on reliable, clean, safe energy to continue as we work to provide a better future for our company, our customers and our state.
About DTE Energy
DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan. The DTE Energy portfolio includes non-utility energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy marketing and trading. As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.com, twitter.com/dteenergy and facebook.com/dteenergy.