ITC Selects Michigan Firm For First Phase Of Thumb Loop Transmission Line

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NOVI — Novi-based ITCTransmission, a wholly owned subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp., the nation’s largest independent electricity transmission company, Friday announced it has selected Iron Mountain-based M.J. Electric LLC, a Quanta Services company (NYSE: PWR), to build the first segment of the Thumb Loop high-voltage transmission line.

Phase 1 of the double-circuit, 345,000-volt (345 kV) line will extend approximately 62 miles from the site of the new Bauer substation in Tuscola Township, southwestern Tuscola County, to the new Rapson substation in Huron County, east of Bad Axe in Sigel Township in the state’s Thumb region.

ITC’s selection of M.J. Electric was based on a competitive bidding process as well as the company’s history of successful project completion for ITC in this very specialized field.

“M.J. Electric has a strong track record in transmission line construction with ITC and throughout the utility industry,” said Gregory Ioanidis, president of ITC Michigan.  “They also have a well-earned reputation for on-the-job safety, which is a top priority for ITC and is integral to our culture. We are pleased that a Michigan company will be a key partner with ITC on this important regional transmission project.  M.J. Electric has completed projects for us safely, on time and on budget in the past and we’re confident they will continue that high level of performance on Phase 1 of the Thumb Loop.”

Added Ed Farrington, senior vice president of M.J. Electric: “M.J. Electric and ITC share a vision to increase power reliability through safe execution of transmission initiatives, as well as a strong commitment to support the Michigan economy. In addition to creating approximately 50 positions during peak construction, this project will require the support of ancillary businesses in the area. We look forward to building upon our eight-year relationship with ITC, applying our transmission expertise to help strengthen the region’s power infrastructure.”

Line construction on the 62-mile Phase 1 segment will begin in early April and continue into 2013. Crews will drill pole foundations, install steel monopole and lattice structures, and string conductors (wires) between the two substations. ITC has worked with landowners along the route to negotiate easement agreements and establish access points for equipment and materials along the 200-foot-wide transmission corridor.

The Thumb Loop project consists of approximately 140 miles of double-circuit 345 kV transmission lines and four new substations. It will serve as the “backbone” of a system designed to meet the identified maximum wind energy potential of the Thumb region and will be capable of supporting a maximum capacity of about 5,000 megawatts.  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. 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, scheduled to start construction in 2012 and finish in late 2013. The remainder is targeted for completion by 2015. For more information about the Thumb Loop project, please visit www.itctransco.com.

ITCTransmission owns, operates and maintains approximately 2,800 circuit miles of transmission line in southeast Michigan, serving a population of 5.1 million.  For more information, please visit www.itctransco.com.

Parent company ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ITC) is the nation’s largest independent electricity transmission company.  Based in Novi, ITC invests in the electric transmission grid to improve system reliability, expand access to markets, lower the overall cost of delivered energy and allow new generating resources to interconnect to its transmission systems.  ITC’s regulated operating subsidiaries include ITCTransmission, Michigan Electric Transmission Co., ITC Midwest and ITC Great Plains. Through these subsidiaries, ITC owns and operates high-voltage transmission facilities in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas, serving a combined peak load exceeding 26,000 megawatts along 15,000 circuit miles of transmission line.  Through ITC Grid Development and its subsidiaries, the company also focuses on expansion in areas where significant transmission system improvements are needed.  For more information, visit www.itc-holdings.com.

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