DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. – Both U.S. Senators from Michigan, Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, pitched in to turn ceremonial “first dirt” during a groundbreaking ceremony for a long-sought electrical substation to be built on Detroit Arsenal .
The two senators were joined by several, locally elected officials and Detroit Arsenal leaders in the May 10 event.
The $24M U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-designed, 40-megawatt substation will, according to Maj. Gen. Darren Werner, commander of the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command and Senior Commander of Detroit Arsenal, “increase electrical system dependability, resiliency and physical security, while allowing us to continue to wisely steward our resources and prepare for the future of America’s Army and the other Services we support.”
The general explained in his ceremony comments that existing power sources would soon stifle planned expansion without the new source of power.
“Without the ability to provide adequate power to our facilities, our shared mission of supporting the needs of the Army and the Soldier would be hindered. Without adequate power, facilities planned and programmed over the next several years would not be able to be fully functional,” Werner said.
“This electrical substation creates the very foundation on which we will continue to expand and modernize our facilities here at the Detroit Arsenal,” he said, adding that the substation was a critical component of the Army’s modernization efforts.
“When you think about Detroit Arsenal,” Stabenow said in her remarks to the socially-distanced audience, “it has long played an important role in our national security.” She noted the early origins of the Arsenal and historical contributions made during World War Two.
“Today, military power means agility. It means intelligence. It means people. It means security. That’s why this project that’s being started today is so very, very important, and I’m pleased that we were able to work together to get this funded.”
“It’s really an honor to be here, face to face and actually breaking ground,” Peters later commented. “I think it’s important to note that this $24M is actually the largest investment in Department of Defense facilities in Michigan in over five years, so this is a really big deal that we’re celebrating here. We hope it’s just the beginning of a whole lot more when it comes to authorizations as we continue to make investments in our national security.”
“It has always been the history of this country that we out innovate everybody in the world,” Peters added. “This facility (Detroit Arsenal) will be the lead for that.”
The Army Corps of Engineers began formal design of the electrical substation in August and will manage construction of the project. The substation is expected to be completed and operational by November, 2022.