|John G. Strand, Chairman||Dorothy Wideman|
|David A. Svanda||Mary Jo Kunkle|
|Robert B. Nelson||517.241.6160|
LANSING, November 19. The Michigan Public Service Commission today announced that it will hold three public hearings in November and December 1999 to solicit public comments on the Detroit Edison Company's response to electric outages resulting from the severe storms during this past summer. Specifically, the Commission is asking customers to identify how Detroit Edison responded to the electric outages caused by the storms, what safety procedures were used by the company to protect the public; and whether there are changes needed to deal with future storm damage. Customers may also identify recurrent electric outage concerns. The public hearings will be held at: City Council Chambers 13615 Michigan Avenue Dearborn, Michigan Monday November 29, 1999, 2:00 p.m. William M. Costick Activities Center 28600 Eleven Mile Road Farmington Hills, Michigan Monday November 29, 1999, 6:00 p.m. Rochester Community Schools Board of Education Meeting Room 501 West University Rochester, Michigan Thursday December 2, 1999, 6:00 p.m. The Commission will also accept comments on an MPSC staff report, submitted to the Commission today, summarizing the staff's findings in its investigation into Detroit Edison's response to these electric outages and ongoing system reliability issues. The staff report recommends that Detroit Edison: Increase its tree trimming to meet the 4.3 year average trimming cycle target. This would require trimming 23% of the distribution and subtransmission lines each year, which currently equates to 6955 miles of line. Poor performing circuits may require more frequent trimming. The $42.7 million budgeted for line clearance in 1999 should be spent with future increases depending on system performance. Work with Staff to develop reliability performance targets for Commission approval. These targets should include, but not be limited to, frequency of outages and duration of outages and performance criteria for poor performing pockets. Expand its investigation of areas that have experienced chronic performance problems to include the impact of all storms. Review its programs for distribution system strengthening, pole top and line maintenance, downed wire reduction, secondary rewiring and others to demonstrate that activities are adequately funded and implemented in a manner which reduces outages due to equipment failures. Strengthen its system with new substations, which can reduce loads vulnerable to circuit outages. Expand its utilization of storm-resistant overhead wiring configurations. Such alternatives would improve reliability in areas where optimal tree trimming is not practical or permitted due to land owner objections. Work with Staff to identify levels of distribution capital and O&M; spending which optimize system performance and reliability. A mechanism should be established to link reliability performance and distribution spending levels to the company's allowed rate of return. Work with Staff to improve the responsiveness of its toll free number and complaint processes. The staff report will be available on the MPSC Web site at: <http://cis.state.mi.us/mpsc/electric/dereport.htm>. A
copy may be obtained by calling 517.241.6070 or 1.800.292.9555.
The MPSC is an agency within the Department of Consumer and Industry Services. November 19, 1999 (MPSC announces public hearings on Detroit Edison's 1999 storm restoration efforts)