American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) utility Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) said Nov. 3 that it is investing $15m to upgrade the transmission system in St. Joseph County, Indiana.
Plans include proactively rebuilding less than 10-miles of 34.5-kV transmission line to 69 kV standards. The utility said the New Carlisle-South Bend Transmission Line Rebuild is essential to ensure that continued reliable energy service is available to customers.
Existing wood poles will be replaced with new steel monopoles and new wire built to 69 kV standards. Improvements will decrease outages and time needed to restore service when outages occur. Having the capability to increase the voltage in the future reinforces the system to meet customer demands for electricity, I&M said.
Public and affected landowners have been invited to an open house during the evening of Nov. 17 at the Lydick Lions Club, in South Bend, Indiana.
The planned new steel monopoles will be between 80 and 100-feet high. Structures will be located in the center of a right-of-way of 60-feet. Most of the line will continue to be located within existing I&M right-of-way with a few minor deviations.
The utility hopes to start surveying and acquiring needed right-of-way in 2017. The company hopes to complete the project in 2018, according to a utility fact sheet.
The company plans to rebuild about eight miles of single circuit 34.5-kV line to 69 kV standards. It also involves rebuilding about one mile of double-circuit 34.5-kV line to 69 kV standards. The plan also calls for construction of the Tulip Road Substation.