American Electric Power’s Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) on Jan. 6 said that it plans to invest about $62m to upgrade the electric transmission systems to ensure safe and reliable electric service to customers in Berrien County through the Berrien Springs Area Improvements Project.
The project involves:
- Building the Blossom Trail substation in Eau Claire
- Building about 1/2 mile of transmission line to connect the new Blossom Trail substation to existing lines
- Upgrading transmission lines from 34.5 kV to 69-kV standards to help enhance energy reliability in the area
- Replacing the Barrien Springs substation with the new Boxer substation in Berrien Springs
The company added that the project includes rebuilding about four miles of power line in four smaller segments in the existing right of way (ROW), with some sections possibly including reroutes and requiring new easements.
According to a project fact sheet, the upgrades take place in Berrien, Oronoko, and Pipestone townships in Berrien County.
According to the project schedule noted in the fact sheet, field surveys and engineering would occur early 2020-summer 2020; ROW activities would occur early 2020-late 2020; construction would occur early 2020-late 2020; and the facilities would be placed in service in late 2020.
I&M plans to use steel monopole structures averaging 75 feet in height, the fact sheet noted, adding that the structures would be placed within a 60-foot ROW.