On Monday Consumers Energy held a press conference to present some lofty goals for the company's response to outages.Ice storms, 60+ mph winds and multiple late summer tornadoes are part of a broader trend challenging energy grids nationwide. The last four-year period in Michigan has seen wind-speed averages twice as high as any similar period in the last 20 years.
“Job #1 for us is to keep the lights on regardless of the weather,” said Tonya Berry, Senior Vice President of Transformation & Engineering at Consumers Energy.
Consumers Energy’s Reliability Roadmap is a blueprint to strengthen Michigan’s electric grid that includes the new long-term goals:
• No customer will be without power for more than 24 hours.
• No outage will affect more than 100,000 customers.
The Reliability Roadmap includes a variety of steps to achieve these goals, including:
Tree Trimming: Significantly increasing and staying at the cycle time needed to keep our lines clear of interference from trees, which is the most effective way to prevent and shorten power outages and improve system reliability.
Infrastructure upgrades: Expanding and accelerating replacement or rebuild of poles, expand undergrounding power lines where it makes sense, and organize circuits more efficiently.
Grid modernization: Enhancing the ability for smart meters, sensors and automation devices to work together to help monitor, isolate and automatically respond to interruptions more effectively.
Equity and environmental justice: Sustaining our commitment that all communities will experience the benefits of the Reliability Roadmap and can participate in the clean energy transformation.
“Our commitment is strong,” said Greg Salisbury, Consumers Energy’s vice president of electric distribution engineering. “We will not stop until our grid is more resilient and reliable. We look forward to working with the Michigan Public Service Commission and others to make this happen.”
The Company will file a five-year plan as part of the Reliability Roadmap with the Michigan Public Service Commission this week. Learn more at ConsumersEnergy.com/reliable.
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