American Electric Power’s (AEP) Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) on June 22 said that it plans an approximate $9m investment to upgrade the electric transmission grid serving customers in Delaware County in eastern Indiana through the Kenmore Substation Underground Connection Project.
The project involves building about 1/2 mile of 69-kV underground transmission line in Muncie between the Kenmore substation, which is located near the intersection of North Tillotson Avenue and West University Avenue, and existing above-ground transmission lines located near the intersection of West Westview Boulevard and South Tillotson Avenue, the company said.
Noting that it rarely places transmission lines underground, the company said that growth in the area over the decades since the existing line was built makes it difficult to replace the overhead line, with the underground line being the most cost-effective alternative for enhancing and ensuring reliable service to the area.
As noted on a project fact sheet, the new 69-kV line travels beneath existing streets in the area. Upon completion, the line will be underground and streets will be repaired to reduce impact on surrounding neighborhoods.
The fact sheet also noted that the project will strengthen the local electric transmission system; reduce the likelihood of power outages; speed recovery of service when outages occur; prepare the electric system to support economic development; and lessen visual impact on surrounding neighborhoods.
The upgrades take place in Center Township in Delaware County, the fact sheet noted.
I&M said in its statement that its representatives plan to talk with individual property owners in the coming months about what to expect before, during, and after construction.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I&M and its contractors are limiting in-person visits with property owners during associated field activities to ensure the safety and health of the public and company representatives, I&M said.
The company noted that it expects to begin construction at the beginning of 2021, and conclude in early 2022.