DTE builds first of its kind "plug and play" substation

2017-12-12 - EmpoweringMichigan.com article by Randi Berris - December 8, 2017
We're all used to coping with Michigan's changing weather - especially skilled trades workers who often work out of doors all year 'round. And for those who build electric substation, the weather can be a challenge.

DTE Energy has developed a new process to build some substations inside a factory, away from the elements, cutting the time in half from groundbreaking to completion. It's similar to how a manufactured home is built inside a factory and then transported to a neighborhood.

On a recent late fall day, a wide load flat bed truck carrying a 55,000-pound substation passed through the streets of Macomb and Oakland counties. The substation traveled from the Sterling Heights facility where it was built, to the Pontiac location where it will energize a new commercial and residential development. Once on site, a giant crane slowly lifted the skid off the truck and gently set it onto the pad where it will be hooked up to the energy grid by the end of the year.

DTE Energy partnered with ABB, a company that specializes in power grid and other technologies, to help design and assemble the Hood substation, the first of its kind. As part of our effort to support Michigan based businesses, the power transformer, conductors and insulators, circuit breakers and more were all built on a single skid inside the Sterling Heights factory. A typical substation can take up to two years to build. This one took under nine months.

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