ITC Midwest anticipates beginning construction in January on ‘Segment 4’ of 345-kV project

ITC Midwest, in documents mailed on Dec. 12 to landowners, residents, public officials and others, said that it anticipates beginning construction in January 2017 on Segment 4 (Huntley-Iowa border) of its Minnesota-Iowa 345-kV Transmission Project and associated facilities in Jackson, Martin and Faribault counties.

As noted in the document, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in November granted ITC Midwest a route permit for the project, which the company said is needed to improve electric reliability, expand transmission capacity to support economic growth and investment, and to allow generating resources in the area – including wind generators – to efficiently transmit electricity to customers.

Segment 4 of the project extends from the Minnesota/Iowa border in Section 26 of Pilot Grove Township, north to Structure 92 located on the Huntley substation site in Section 14 of Verona Township, the company said, adding that all of Segment 4 is located in Faribault County.

Construction for that segment will involve replacing an existing 161-kV single-circuit transmission line with a new 345-kV/161-kV double-circuit transmission line in many places, but also including construction of a new 345-kV/161-kV double circuit transmission line where no transmission line currently exists, and relocating the existing 161-kV transmission line to the new transmission line, the company said.

“We anticipate that construction of Segment 4 will be complete in 2017 and the portion of the 161 kV circuit between the Minnesota/Iowa border and the Huntley substation will be energized in 2017,” the company said. “The 345 kV circuit, however, will not be energized until all four segments of the project are completed.”

In its Dec. 14 monthly status report about the project filed with the commission, the company said that while construction activities have been completed for Segment 1 (Lakefield-Fox Lake), minor restoration work remains and required environmental monitoring will continue along Segment 1 until restoration is complete.

Work on Segment 2 (Fox Lake-Rutland) continued in November, reaching 51% completion overall with 65 foundations now completed and 53 steel poles erected, the company said. Conductor installation on Segment 2 began in November and is now 12% complete, the company said, adding that construction at the Lakefield Junction substation is also now 100% complete.

The company noted that construction of the new Huntley substation continued in November, including concrete installation, below grade installations, drainage, fencing and control house work; Huntley is now 54% complete.

Right of way (ROW) acquisition for Segment 2 (Structure 159 to Structure 242) is complete, and the company has obtained nearly all required regulatory/environmental permits, licenses and approvals for construction of that segment. The company also said that it began work along Segment 2 in June, in areas where all regulatory/environmental permits, licenses, or approvals have been received.

The company noted that it continues to proceed with design work and easement acquisition associated with Segments 3 (Rutland-Huntley) and 4, the substations, and the associated facilities. The company said that it intends to proceed with construction in this order: Segment 2, associated facilities, Segment 4, and Segment 3.

Discussing the current acquisition status for transmission line easements, the company said that all easements acquired to date have been acquired voluntarily, and that the overall percent of easements signed and completed is 95%.

Among other things, the company noted that no complaints were received in November, and that resolution of a complaint received in late October is still pending receipt and installation of additional equipment.

ITC is a Fortis (NYSE:FTS) company.