American Electric Power‘s (NYSE:AEP) Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) on Feb. 26 said that it plans to enhance energy reliability for customers in east-central Indiana by rebuilding about 20 miles of 138-kV transmission line in Delaware and Grant counties “using innovative, unique towers.”
The company said that it plans to conduct most of the construction in the existing right of way (ROW), although it might need to acquire supplemental easements. The improvements help reduce the likelihood of power outages and speed recovery of service when outages occur, I&M said.
The Muncie-Marion Transmission Line Rebuild Project involves replacing steel lattice towers with modern “Breakthrough Overhead Line Design” (BOLD) structures that are shorter, have a smaller footprint, and deliver electricity more efficiently, I&M said. BOLD structures stand at about 85 feet tall and are located within an approximate 100-foot ROW corridor, the company said.
According to a project fact sheet, the line, which connects the Mississinewa, Gaston, and Wes-Del substations, begins in northwest Muncie and travels north through Gaston and Gas City before ending in southeast Marion. The fact sheet noted that there is a portion of a line that needs a minor reroute.
Tree clearing and road access construction is expected to begin in late 2019 and conclude spring 2020, I&M said in its statement, noting that transmission line construction begins in fall 2020 and concludes late 2021.
I&M spokesperson Tracy Warner on Feb. 26 told TransmissionHub that the project’s cost estimate is $57m.