ICC approves portions of Illinois Rivers

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) on Feb. 20 issued an order on rehearing, approving portions of Ameren Transmission Co. of Illinois’ (ATXI) $1.1bn Illinois Rivers project (Docket No. 12-0598).

“After careful consideration of the impact of each of the parties’ proposed routes for specific sections of the project, the commission approved the construction of lines from Pawnee to Pana to Mt. Zion and Mt. Zion to Kansas,” the ICC said in a statement.

The review on rehearing was limited to addressing the need for construction of new or expanded substations at Ipava,  Pana, Mt. Zion, Kansas, Sidney and Rising, and the best route linking Pawnee and Mt. Zion, the ICC said. The commission also reviewed an alternative proposal for sections of the route between Meredosia and Pawnee and between Mt. Zion and Kansas.

The ICC approved portions of the project route on Aug. 20, 2013, specifically the portions that extend from Quincy, Ill., on the Mississippi River to Pawnee, south of Springfield, and from Mt. Zion southeast of Decatur to Terre Haute on the Illinois/Indiana border.

Ameren petitioned for rehearing of the Aug. 20 approval, arguing that the part of the ICC’s decision denying the proposed alignment of the project that would run from Pawnee to Pana to Mt. Zion, Illl., may not be the least-cost option. The ICC granted the rehearing Oct. 2, 2013. 

The main portion of the transmission line route will run through parts of Adams, Christian, Clark, Coles, Edgar, Macon, Morgan, Moultrie, Pike, Sangamon, Scott and Shelby counties, according to the order. Specifically, beginning at the point where it crosses the Mississippi River in Adams County, the main portion of the line will run through substations in or near Quincy, Meredosia, Pawnee, Pana, Mt. Zion and Kansas. Another section runs from Meredosia to Ipava through parts of Cass, Fulton, Morgan and Schuyler counties. A separate line would wrap around the southwest side of Champaign County from Rising to Sidney.

Portions of the Illinois Rivers project will be placed in service beginning in 2016 and ending in 2019.

ATXI filed for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) in November 2012, saying the Illinois Rivers project provided the most cost-effective means to supply adequate and reliable services to transmission customers within the Midcontinent ISO (MISO) footprint. The project comprises four of six projects in Illinois that the MISO approved as part of its multi-value project (MVP) portfolio in December 2011.

ATXI is a subsidiary of Ameren (NYSE:AEE).