ITC Midwest LLC on Dec. 15 provided an update to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on the Minnesota-Iowa 345-kV Transmission Line Project, noting that commissioning at the Huntley substation remained at 95% complete through the end of November, with overall completion at 99%.
Final commissioning activities at the substation are expected to be complete in spring 2018, the company said.
As noted in the filing, the commission in November 2014 granted ITC Midwest a route permit for the project and associated facilities in Jackson, Martin, and Faribault counties.
Construction activities in November for “Segment 4” (Huntley to Iowa Border) of the project focused predominantly on right of way (ROW) clearing and spotting, with completion now at 47% complete overall, the company said.
Construction work on “Segment 3 (Rutland-Huntley)” of the project continued in November, focusing on the 161-kV and 345-kV line work, as well as spotting, the company said, adding that overall completion is at 43% for Segment 3.
The company noted that it recently provided updated cost information on the project to the Midcontinent ISO (MISO) to support MISO’s recently completed 2017 Multi-Value Project (MVP) Triennial Review. The Minnesota-Iowa project is a portion of what is also referred to as MVP 3 from the 2011 MISO Transmission Expansion Plan (MTEP 11). The company added that MISO’s Triennial Review confirmed that the MVP portfolio continues to provide benefits in excess of cost and enables wind energy to meet renewable goals and mandates.
The current projected capital cost in 2018 dollars for the Minnesota-Iowa project and associated facilities is $395.5m, which is about 20% above the estimate from the certificate of need proceeding, escalated from 2012 dollars to 2018 dollars at 2.5% annually ($284m in 2012 dollars, escalated to $329.4m in 2018 dollars), the company said.
As noted on ITC’s website, the project includes a 345-kV line between the Lakefield Junction substation east of Lakefield in Jackson County and the Huntley substation south of Winnebago in Faribault County in Minnesota, and connecting to substations in northern Iowa. The project also includes extensions and relocations of certain 161-kV facilities in Faribault County, the site noted.
ITC in early 2013 filed a certificate of need application and a route permit application with the commission, which in November 2014 granted the certificate of need and issued ITC Midwest a route permit for the project. The site added that the route permit identified the route (referred to as “Modified Route A”) that the commission felt was most appropriate for the project based on the analysis completed by the Department of Commerce, Energy Environmental Review & Analysis in the environmental impact statement for the project.
ITC Midwest started construction of the Project in November 2015, working generally from west to east and then south to Iowa, according to the site.
ITC is a Fortis (NYSE:FTS) company.