T&D World Magazine

Detroit Edison to Interrupt Electrical Service to Grosse Ile Customers Early Sunday to Complete Reliability Improvement Work

Detroit Edison plans to interrupt electric service to all Grosse Ile customers on April 29 between 1 and 7 a.m. so company technicians can complete work to add a third transformer to the island's electrical distribution system. Power will be interrupted for all customers at the same time and power will be restored for all customers at the same time.

This work is a major component of a program to improve electric service to Grosse Ile residents. Grosse Ile is off the coast of Michigan in Lake Michigan. Its population is approximately 11,000 residents. This program also includes replacement of a cable under the Detroit River that supplies power to the island, maintenance on pole-top equipment, and replacement of overhead power lines, including 4.5 miles of cable that is designed to be more resistant to interference from tree branches.

The timing of the interruption was carefully selected to minimize inconvenience to Grosse Ile residents and businesses. While the company doesn’t expect any disturbances on the electrical system when power is restored, it advises customers to take some precautions to help protect appliances and electronics from possible damage. Recommendations include:

  • Turn off or unplug all appliances and sensitive electronics (computers, televisions, etc.) to prevent an electrical overload when power is restored. Leave on one light switch to indicate when power is restored.
  • Don't open refrigerators and freezers more often than absolutely necessary.
  • Never use a gas range for heating, or charcoal as an indoor heating or cooking source.

In addition, if customers find it necessary to use a use a portable generator during the interruption, they must disconnect house circuits from Detroit Edison power lines by pulling or switching to "off" all main fuses or circuit breakers. This protects utility crews by preventing generator power from "backfeeding" onto the utility lines. Also, generators must be operated outdoors to avoid dangerous buildup of toxic fumes in the home.

Customers who rely on electric-powered medical equipment need to arrange for alternative accommodations during the interruption or to use a properly installed and operated portable generator to provide power for the equipment.

In the event that the work cannot be performed Sunday, April 29 as scheduled, the work and service interruption will be rescheduled to 1 to 7 a.m. May 6.

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