Work continues on various I&M transmission projects in Indiana, Michigan

Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) continues to work on its “Powering Up Northeast Indiana” program, which, as a company spokesperson told TransmissionHub on April 15, consists of five separate projects, all in the Greater Fort Wayne, Ind., area.

As noted in the company’s “Building the Future” booklet, the program is an approximately $500m investment through 2018.

One of the projects, the “Powering Up West: Roanoke to Robison Park (Greater Fort Wayne Reliability)” project involves improvements centered on the existing Sorenson substation, located about 11 miles southwest of Fort Wayne, and about 1.5 miles northeast of Roanoke, according to the project’s website.

Improvements extend both north of the substation along an existing transmission line corridor to the Robison Park Substation, and south, the company said.

Project details include expanding the existing Sorenson substation, rebuilding the existing 138-kV transmission line that connects I&M’s Sorenson and Robison Park substations as a 138/345-kV transmission line, and building two new 765-kV lines between the Sorenson substation and an existing 765-kV line located seven miles to the south.

Construction at the Sorenson substation began in September 2014, and is estimated to be completed by the end of December. The company also said that foundation installation for the 138-kV line between the Sorenson and Robison Park substations began in March 2014. Structure assembly began in October 2014, with an estimated structure and line completion date of fall 2016. Foundation installation of the new 765-kV line between the Sorenson substation and an existing 765-kV line began in November 2014. The company also noted that the new 765-kV line is expected to be in service by the end of December.

The project represents a $306m investment, the company said.

Major components of the $80m “Powering Up North: Robison Park to Auburn” project include rebuilding a 138-kV transmission line from Robison Park to Auburn; building a new Butler Center and Dunton Lake substation; installing seven miles of new 69-kV line; retiring the Cedar and Garrett substations; and upgrading the existing Auburn substation.

The project’s website also noted that many areas of the project have been completed including the Clipper Loop, as well as the Auburn, Clipper and Dunton Lake substations. The Robison Park substation was 90% completed in December 2015, with final completion expected this fall. The Robison Park to Auburn line was partially energized in February and is expected to be fully energized this summer, the company added. Access roads, removal of old lines and restoration will continue into the fall. The company also said that the Cedar and Garrett substations are in the process of being retired, which is expected to be completed this summer.

The spokesperson said that the project is expected to be in service in 2017.

Another project that is expected to be in service next year is the “Powering Up South: Southern Fort Wayne – Decatur Area” project, the spokesperson said.

That project includes upgrading about 17 miles of an existing 34.5-kV transmission line with old structures to a more efficient and reliable 69-kV transmission line with new structures, according to the project’s website. About three miles of new 69-kV transmission line will also be built along County Road 1100 N, tapping into structures south of Hoagland and connecting structures in Decatur, the company said, adding that equipment upgrades will also be completed at the Lincoln and Tillman substations. Two new substations will be built – Yost Bridge and Muldoon Mill – while the Poe substation will be retired, the company said.

The spokesperson said that these projects are expected to be in service in 2018: “Powering Up East: Monroeville Area” and “Powering Up Central: City of Fort Wayne.”

According to the Powering Up East project website, key components of that project include upgrading the Allen substation; building two new approximately four-mile, 138-kV transmission lines; rebuilding 18 miles of existing transmission line – seven miles in Indiana and 11 miles in Ohio; and removing line to restructure the network.

According to the Powering Up Central project website, project details include replacing an existing double-circuit 34.5-kV transmission line between the Spy Run and Robison Park substations with a new double-circuit 138-kV transmission line. The line is being built in approximately 6.4 miles of existing right of way, but may require updating or supplementing easements, the company added. Improvements will update the existing transmission system that has been in place since the 1940s, and must be updated in order to meet the regions growing demands for electricity, the company said.

The project represents a $50m investment, the company said.

Other projects in Indiana

According to the company’s booklet, about $175m is being invested in transmission upgrades across the rest of the company’s Indiana service area.

The spokesperson noted that that investment is separate from the $500m “Powering Up Northeast Indiana” investment and involves these projects:

  • Deer Creek to South Summitville, which is expected to be in service later this year
  • Oliver Plow, which is also expected to be in service later this year
  • Melita Reliability Enhancement Project, which is expected to be in service in 2017
  • Aviation, which is also expected to be in service in 2017
  • Alexandria Area Improvements, which is expected to be in service in 2018

According to the project’s website, the Deer Creek to South Summitville project involves an investment of more than $9m in improvements to the electric transmission system in Central Indiana. The effort involves upgrading the existing 34.5-kV transmission line to a more efficient and reliable 69-kV line system in Grant and Madison counties. The line connects the Deer Creek substation at I&M’s Service Center on the south side of Marion to a substation south of Summitville, the company added. The upgrade includes replacing old wooden poles with new steel poles to strengthen the aging electric infrastructure of the area and ensure safe, reliable power for homes and businesses, the company said, adding that the project also includes upgrading additional substation equipment south of Marion.

Construction of the Deer Creek–South Summitville 69-kV line was completed last October, the company said, noting that it is now finishing the distribution under build portion. The project is on target to be completed this summer, the company said.

According to the Oliver Plow project’s website, I&M is investing about $8m in electrical improvements for South Bend by building the Oliver Plow substation. I&M added that it is building the new approximate 1.5-acre substation on a 6.5-acre site that the company owns. Construction of the substation begins the next phase in the development of Ignition Park, the company said, adding that the substation will provide power to Ignition Park and upgrades to the distribution power lines to reduce power quality fluctuations.
Construction is on target for the project to be completed during 3Q16, the company said.

According to the Melita project’s website, I&M plans to invest about $50m in electrical improvements in downtown Fort Wayne. The company said that plans include replacing the Webster substation, which was built in the 1920s, with the new Melita substation, as well as building about two miles of new 69-kV transmission line, completing improvements on about two miles of existing transmission line, and rebuilding about one mile of existing transmission line.

Of the Aviation project, I&M said that it plans to invest about $20m in improvements to provide a reliable supply of electricity to the new BAE Systems’ facility and to improve the transmission system to better serve future growth in Waynedale and the Fort Wayne International Airport area. According to the project’s website, the project includes building the new Aviation substation, as well as two new 138-kV transmission lines connecting the new substation to the Waynedale and Ellison Road substations.

According to the Alexandria Area Improvements project’s website, that approximately $90m project is necessary to upgrade the local electric transmission system in north central Indiana. The project includes building about 10 miles of new 69-kV transmission line; building about 15 miles of new 138-kV transmission line; upgrading about six miles of existing 34.5-kV transmission line to 138-kV; upgrading about four miles of existing 34.5-kV transmission line to 69-kV; retiring about 30 miles of 34.5-kV transmission line; building the two new Aladdin and Makahoy substations; and retiring the two existing Alexandria and Mullin substations, the company said.

Projects in Michigan

The company’s booklet also noted that in southwest Michigan, about $150m is going into new power lines, new substations and existing system upgrades focused in the Marcellus, Sister Lakes and Cass County areas.

The spokesperson noted that three projects are underway:

  • Marcellus Area Improvements project, which is expected to be in service in late 2016 or early 2017
  • Cass County Area Improvements project, which is expected to be in service in 2017
  • Sister Lakes Upgrades project, which is also expected to be in service in 2017

According to the Marcellus Area project’s website, the $30m project includes building the two new Stinger and Brody substations; retiring the two aging Marcellus and Nicholsville substations; building two new 138-kV transmission lines, between two miles and 3.5 miles long, to exit out of the new substations; connecting the Stinger and Brody substations with a new two-mile, 138-kV transmission line; and retiring 13 miles of the aging Marcellus–Valley 34.5-kV transmission line.

According to the Cass County project’s website, the approximately $75m investment includes upgrading about 26 miles of existing 69-kV transmission line to 69/138-kV; and improving the Kenzie Creek, Pokagon, Stone Lake and Corey substations.

Of the Sister Lakes project, the company said that the $45m investment includes building the two new Keelette and Rothadew substations; building seven miles of new 69-kV transmission line; rebuilding 10 miles of 34.5-kV line to 69-kV; and building one new one-mile, 69-kV line to the existing Sister Lakes substation.

I&M is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP).

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3059 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.