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Posted on Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 12:39 p.m.

DTE Energy plans new substation to meet growing energy needs of downtown Ann Arbor

By Ryan J. Stanton


DTE Energy plans to build a new substation behind its Ann Arbor Service Center off of Broadway near Wall Street.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Representatives of DTE Energy said today they're planning to invest $10 million over the next two years to develop a new power substation serving downtown Ann Arbor.

With new developments like Zaragon Place 2 and 601 Forest coming online in the future and the potential future development of the Library Lot and the Y Lot, the power company is making moves to increase capacity to meet downtown's future energy needs.

Paul Ganz, DTE's regional manager, and Mike Witkowski, a staff engineer, announced the plans at today's Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority meeting. They said they're looking to go before the Planning Commission next month.

The new substation would be built behind DTE's Ann Arbor Service Center off of Broadway near Wall Street, Ganz said.

Witkowski said the core of Ann Arbor is currently served by 4.8-kV substations. In contrast, there are 13.2-kV substations around the city, which is what DTE wants to move toward.

Despite the economic downturn, DTE officials said they're cognizant of the fact that the University of Michigan continues to drive growth in downtown Ann Arbor, and new developments are often dense loads in highly populated areas.

They made note of several developments planned or under way, including 601 Forest, a 14-story high-rise at the corner of South University and South Forest, and Zaragon Place 2, a 14-story high-rise at William and Thompson.

Witkowski said DTE has been doing internal planning on its substation project since 2008 and wants to break ground later this year, with the goal of having it up and running by spring 2013. In addition to new developments, DTE is expecting increased demand for plug-in vehicles.

DTE recently added a third transformer and is currently establishing new circuits at its substation located at Fourth and Packard, Witkowski noted.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.


Macabre Sunset

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 7:30 p.m.

But I thought Ann Arbor was trying to become "energy neutral?" Hold the presses! Maybe it's just bluster, and a waste of taxpayer money competing to be called "energy neutral" while forcing those who don't bid high enough to use traditional sources. The solution to our non-renewable crisis is in developing new technologies, not in sanctimonious warbling.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 6:01 p.m.

Sounds like DTE is trying to destroy the earth by supplying more power to Downtown Ann Arbor. How are they going to produce the power? With Organic and Natural products like coal and oil? or "animal killer" power produced by wind or some other risky source?


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 5:14 p.m.

Some competition for DTE would be nice too.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 6:10 p.m.

No competition is needed. The Michigan Public Service Commission ensures that the public utilities charge a fair and reasonable rate. OK, you can stop laughing now.