American Electric Power’s Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) on Feb. 21 said that it plans an approximate $77m investment to upgrade the electric transmission network serving customers in Allen and Whitley counties in northeastern Indiana through the Western Fort Wayne Area Improvements Project, which includes building about 24 miles of new 69-kV transmission line.
The project also includes upgrading about four miles of 34.5-kV transmission line to 69-kV standards; upgrading several area substations; and building the new Snapper substation in southern Churubusco.
The company added that the project involves rebuilding some sections of line in the company’s current right of way (ROW); for other portions of the project, study segments are under consideration for potential line routes.
According to a project fact sheet, the project is designed to strengthen the local electric transmission system; reduce the likelihood of power outages; speed recovery of service when outages occur; and prepare the electric system to support economic development.
The fact sheet noted that the upgrades take place in Washington, Perry, Eel River, and Lake townships in Allen County, as well as in Columbia, Union, Thorncreek, and Smith townships in Whitley County.
The project would involve steel monopole structures averaging 75 feet in height, with those structures to be placed within a 60-foot ROW, the fact sheet said.
According to the project schedule, construction is set to occur from spring 2021 to late summer 2022, with the facilities placed in service in late summer 2022.
In its Feb. 21 statement, I&M said that community open houses will be held on March 4 in Allen County and on March 5 in Whitley County.