I&M announces several transmission projects

Indiana Michigan Power (I&M), an operating unit of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP), on Jan. 16 announced the approximately $30m Vicksburg-Schoolcraft Area Improvements Project, which is designed to improve the electric transmission system in Kalamazoo County, Mich.

The project is essential to ensure that continued reliable electric service is available to customers, the company said. As part of the project, a new Kalamazoo substation would be built; the existing Schoolcraft substation would be retired; the Vicksburg substation would be expanded and upgraded; and a new approximately five-mile, 69-kV transmission line would be built, I&M said.

According to a project fact sheet, the Kalamazoo substation is located in southwest Michigan, on the corner of Hagar Drive and S. 14th Avenue in Schoolcraft, Mich., and the proposed route options travel east toward Vicksburg, connecting to the Vicksburg substation.

If approved, the project is scheduled to be complete in 2018, according to the fact sheet.

I&M said in its statement that improvements to modernize and upgrade the 1970s substation would reduce power interruptions and outages, and that building the new line creates a redundant connection, as well as a looped service.

I&M said that it will host a public open house on Jan. 26 in Schoolcraft to gather information from the public and affected landowners; project representatives will be available to answer questions.

I&M, in a Jan. 10 statement, announced the $20m Gravel Pit Substation and Transmission Line Upgrades project in the South Bend, Ind., area.

The project consists of adding six miles of two new 138-kV lines; expanding and modernizing the Gravel Pit substation southwest of South Bend; and retiring about two miles of aging 34.5-kV line, I&M said.

According to the project’s website, the Gravel Pit substation is one of the worst performing substations in I&M territory, and upgrading the 1950s substation is essential to reduce power outages in the region, as well as add additional capacity. Building two new lines and converting to a looped service improves reliability by ensuring that if an outage occurs on one line, the other line can still provide power to the substation, the website noted.

According to a project fact sheet, the Gravel Pit substation is located southwest of the city on State Route 23 near Orange Road in South Bend. The new lines travel north and northeast out of the substation and connect to the existing Jackson Road-New Carlisle transmission line, the project sheet added.

If approved, the project is scheduled to be complete in 2018, according to the fact sheet.

An open house will be held on Jan. 19 in South Bend, during which attendees can review maps, speak with company representatives, and provide input regarding route selection, the company said in its statement.

In a Jan. 9 statement, I&M announced the approximately $17m Auburn-Butler Transmission Line Rebuild Project in DeKalb County, Ind.

I&M said that plans include proactively upgrading about five miles of 69-kV transmission line to 138-kV; building about four miles of new 138-kV transmission line; replacing wood poles with steel monopoles; and installing new wire for the 138-kV lines.

According to the project’s website, the existing transmission infrastructure has reached an age where it is in need of rebuild and redesign to improve reliability for customers across the region.

According to a project fact sheet, the transmission line connects the Auburn and Butler substations located in DeKalb County, and the existing utility corridor is used for most of the rebuilt portion of the line.

According to the project schedule, restoration is expected to be complete in 2019.

I&M said in its statement that it will host a public open house on Jan. 18 in Auburn, Ind., to gather information from the public and affected landowners; project representatives will be available to answer questions.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3056 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.