MPSC Approves Route For ITC Thumb Loop Project

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Novi-based ITCTransmission said it has received a siting certificate for its Thumb Loop high-voltage transmission line project from the Michigan Public Service Commission.

The MPSC order is the final major regulatory approval required for the project, which consists of approximately 140 miles of double-circuit 345,000-volt lines and four new substations.

The Thumb Loop project will serve as the backbone of a system designed to meet the identified wind energy potential of the Thumb region. As an important link in the high-voltage transmission system in Michigan and the region, it also will contribute to reducing congestion, improving system reliability and facilitating wholesale market competition.

“ITC appreciates the hard work and commitment from the MPSC commissioners and staff to review our siting application and approve a final route for this milestone project,” said Gregory Ioanidis, president of ITC Michigan. “This is an important step in Michigan and the region toward meeting public policy objectives, facilitating the interconnection of renewables and lowering energy prices. We will continue to work cooperatively with the MPSC, local officials, affected landowners and the public in an open and transparent manner as we begin the right-of-way acquisition process and work toward finalizing design and beginning construction.”

The approved route traverses Tuscola, Huron, Sanilac and St. Clair counties. ITC will analyze the route and begin contacting landowners who have property along the route to discuss how the line will affect their property.

The Thumb Loop will be capable of supporting a maximum capacity of about 5,000 megawatts. Additional lines and facilities will be needed in the future as wind generators go into service and connect to the
backbone system. The project will be constructed in stages, with the first segment, the western side of the loop from Tuscola County to Huron County, expected to start construction during the first quarter of 2012 and finish in late 2013. The remainder would be targeted for completion by 2015.

The MPSC siting order for the Thumb Loop is pursuant to Michigan’s “Clean, Renewable and Efficient Energy Act” (Public Act 295) and the MPSC’s Jan. 27, 2010 order designating the Thumb region, as identified by the Michigan Wind Energy Resource Zone Board, as the primary wind energy resource zone in Michigan.

For more information about the Thumb Loop project, please visit www.itctransco.com.

International Transmission Co., which does business as ITCTransmission, is a wholly owned subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp., the nation’s only fully independent electric transmission company. ITCTransmission was acquired in February 2003. ITCTransmission owns, operates and maintains approximately 2,800 circuit miles of transmission lines, 18,200 transmission towers and poles and 169 stations and substations in southeast Michigan serving a population of 5.1 million.

For more information, visit www.itctransco.com.

The largest independent electricity transmission company in the country, ITC Holdings currently operates high-voltage transmission systems and assets in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and portions of Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas, serving a combined peak load in excess of 25,000 megawatts through its regulated operating subsidiaries, ITCTransmission, Michigan Electric Transmission Co., ITC Midwest and ITC Great Plains. ITC also focuses on further expansion in areas where significant transmission system improvements are needed through ITC Grid Development and its subsidiaries.

More at www.itc-holdings.com.

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