DETROIT – In 2016 there were 192 reported power outages in the state of Michigan.
That puts the state at No. 4 on the list of most power outages, according to Eaton's 2016 Blackout and Power Outage Tracker report. Michigan is behind only California, New York and Texas when it comes to power outages. Those are three of the most populated states in the country.
With this month's massive and historic outage caused by high winds, it's not hard to believe this data.
Here is the data from Eaton:
When it comes to outages caused by weather, Michigan is even worse, according to Eaton's data:
That's some incriminating data when the discussion turns to Michigan's power infrastructure. It's unclear what the next steps will be for both DTE and Consumers Energy -- will this mean more tree trimming? That's likely the only solution for now. However, it has been a contentious one -- watch this Local 4 Defenders report from 2015.
The Michigan Public Service Commission, which is responsible for electric and steam utility regulation in the state, just approved rate increases for DTE and Consumers Energy. Commission Chairman Sally Talberg reportedly said replacing infrastructure is a top priority of the MPSC. She said the Commission order "allocates $40 million to deploy innovative technology that provides real-time information to optimize the operation of the electric system and has the potential to improve reliability and efficiency, while lowering future operating costs."
OK -- It's still unclear how we can avoid a wind storm knocking out power across the state. Burying the lines underground doesn't appear to be in the conversation. Michigan Administrative Code 460.511 states a "real estate developer or customer shall make a contribution in aid of construction to the utility in an amount equal to the estimated difference in cost between overhead and underground facilities." Who has the money for that?
For now, let's hope we don't get another wind storm.