ATXI seeks ICC approval of limited route modification for Illinois Rivers Project

Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI), in a verified petition involving its Illinois Rivers Project that was filed on July 18 with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), seeks an order approving a limited modification of the project’s route between Mt. Zion and Kansas, Ill., to accommodate certain landowners’ requests.

As noted in the verified petition, the ICC, in a separate docket, issued ATXI a certificate of public convenience and necessity, authorizing the company to build, operate and maintain the project, which consists of a new 345-kV electric transmission line, as well as associated substations and transformers.

The certificate approved a route for the project. After the ICC issued its order approving the project, ATXI engaged in negotiations regarding land rights acquisitions with landowners along the approved Kansas to Mt. Zion route, the petition added.

During the course of negotiations with landowners along the route between Mt. Zion and Kansas, several landowners presented ATXI with a unanimous request to reposition the line, as a part of a proposal that would resolve all outstanding issues amongst the landowners.

Repositioning the route as the landowners have requested would move the route 0.68 miles east, requiring relocation of 16 poles, and in the interest of resolution, ATXI agreed to pursue the repositioning, the petition added.

Given the extent of the repositioning, however, ATXI believes that ICC approval of the repositioned route is required.

The Mt. Zion to Kansas portion of the project is necessary to provide the benefits of adequate, reliable and efficient electric service, including the reliable delivery of renewable energy, and the development of an effectively competitive electricity market that operates efficiently and is equitable to all customers, the petition said.

The modification, which was endorsed by all affected landowners, does not materially change the overall route. The petition further noted that the route modification would reduce the cost of developing the route between Mt. Zion and Kansas in that ATXI would not need to seek eminent domain authority from the ICC or the courts with respect to the modified portion of the route. From strictly an engineering and construction perspective, the cost of the modified route is roughly equal to the cost of the approved route, the petition said.

Among other things, the petition said that ATXI does not anticipate that the modification would have any impact on cultural, historical and archaeological resources, or on any endangered species, and ATXI would continue to work with relevant agencies to minimize or avoid those impacts.

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

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3155 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.