American Electric Power’s Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) on Feb. 13 said that it is launching in Indiana the approximately $20m Central South Bend Reliability project, which involves building two new substations and about two miles of new 69-kV transmission line.
The project is the fourth of six projects that are part of the $170m Powering Up Greater South Bend Program, which will upgrade, replace, and modernize aging facilities to better serve customers and support economic development, the company said.
According to the project’s website, the transmission line would connect the two new substations – Muessel and Rapids – allowing for the retirement of the Drewry and Colfax substations; most of the line would be built underground and operated at 34.5 kV.
According to a project fact sheet, the Rapids substation is located on Niles Ave., and the new Muessel substation is located on Elwood Ave. Most of the line would be east of the St. Joseph River and located under the roadway and the East Bank Trail, the fact sheet noted.
“The project is critical to improve operational performance of the transmission grid – the backbone of the electric system – by adding another layer of system reliability by creating a third source to feed the area and lessen the frequency and duration of power outages,” the company said on the project website.
According to the fact sheet, PJM Interconnection identified the need for improvements to handle the growing electric demand across the region and to support economic development.
The fact sheet further noted that if approved, project construction would begin in 2018, and the facilities would be energized in 2019.
In its statement, the company said that other transmission improvements in the Powering Up Greater South Bend Program are:
- The New Carlisle-South Bend Transmission Line Rebuild, which involves rebuilding and upgrading about eight miles of transmission line, replacing aging wooden poles with steel ones, and building a new substation. Engineering and surveys are being completed
- The Gravel Pit Substation and Transmission Line Upgrades project, which involves adding six miles of 138-kV line, expanding and modernizing the Gravel Pit Substation southwest of South Bend, and retiring about two miles of aging 34.5-kV line. I&M is studying the public comments from an open house that was held last month, and weighing the alternatives
- The Twin Branch-Kenzie Creek Transmission Line Rebuild project, which involves rebuilding about seven miles of 138-kV transmission line and replacing lattice towers with tubular steel pole structures. Since the project involves rebuilding an existing line where it is currently located, an open house was not held, but information about the project was mailed to landowners
- The New Carlisle-Bosserman Area Improvements project, which involves building two new substations, retiring two existing substations, and upgrading the transmission lines to 138 kV. The project is still being developed, and details are expected to be announced this spring
- The Jackson Road-Marshall Transmission Line Rebuild project, which involves replacing a line that runs from the south side of South Bend to northern Marshall County. The project is being developed, and more details are expected to be announced this spring
The company said that an open house regarding the Central South Bend Reliability project will be held on Feb. 23 in South Bend.