Consumers Energy has developed two new specially equipped vehicles designed and outfitted to respond to any localized emergency the energy provider may face, as well as to support widespread storm restoration work.
"We developed the mobile command centers to be versatile to support our diverse electric and natural gas operations," said Annette Gardiner, vice president of shared services for Consumers Energy. "These vehicles are conference rooms on wheels, where leaders can be with crews in the field with the resources needed to resolve emergencies safely and efficiently. Working together for safer communities. That's our Promise to Michigan, a promise we take to heart."
The 30-foot mobile command centers are based in Jackson and Clinton Township, ready to be deployed wherever they are needed.
Each unit is equipped with backup satellite internet and 800 megahertz radio equipment to keep communication channels available in case typical systems are not operating. A mobile command center has five laptop-ready work stations, a plotter to print large maps and blueprints, and a conference table. One use for a large exterior television screen is to provide training to crews from out-of-state utilities when Michigan experiences damaging storms, reducing the time it takes for lineworkers to begin restoration work in the field.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy, providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.