NOVI — ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ITC) last week announced that it has won the SF6 Team Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in recognition of its continued commitment to SF6 emission reductions.
The EPA presented the award to ITC recently at the 2012 Workshop for SF6 Emission Reduction Strategies in Atlanta.
SF6 is sulfur hexaflouride gas. It’s non-toxic, colorless, odorless and non-flammable, but it’s a potent greenhouse gas. SF6 has been used in enclosed electrical circuit breakers because of its insulating and arc-extinguishing properties.
Since its founding in 2003, ITC’s management, monitoring and reduction of SF6 emission has resulted in a significant decrease in SF6 gas emission rates from the company’s facilities, including an impressive 52 percent reduction between 2005 and 2006 in the ITCTransmission footprint in Michigan.
ITC voluntarily joined forces with the U.S. EPA SF6 Emission Reduction Partnership for Electric Power Systems in 2005. ITC joined the partnership to institute an industry standard for reporting its emissions; to establish inventory tracking of its SF6 use; and to work in collaboration with other industry partners and the EPA to develop and improve gas handling and maintenance programs.
Since then, the company has invested in programs that specifically replace and maintain equipment to reduce SF6 emissions. ITC has developed an Environmental Management System (EMS) to address all its significant potential environmental impacts, including SF6 gas usage and emissions. The SF6 gas management team has developed procedures and work practices through the EMS to ensure the consistent control, measurement and reporting of SF6 emissions company-wide.
ITC’s team efforts in equipment maintenance, repair, and replacement were highlighted by the EPA in a June 2008 case study. Since its publication, ITC has collaborated on the investigation, purchase and use of new technologies, equipment and procedures to improve the detection, tracking and repair of leaks. ITC has further reduced emissions by taking 81 older SF6 gas circuit breakers out of service and replacing old gas insulated switchgear (GIS).
“ITC Holdings Corp. is to be commended for their early action on climate protection and their commitment to sharing information across the sector,” said Sally Rand for EPA’s Office of Atmospheric Programs. “They demonstrate that through partnerships and dedication to emissions reductions, the power transmission sector can reduce emissions of SF6 significantly.”
In addition to its SF6 program, ITC is pursuing a number of green initiatives in its business operations. Its headquarters facility, opened in March 2008, was built up rather than out to protect the natural wetland habitat surrounding the building. Its design incorporates a variety of energy efficient materials and processes including energy-efficient lighting; occupancy sensors; floor to ceiling Low E-glass windows; a cooling system that uses outside cold air rather than a chiller; and high-efficiency natural gas boilers.
ITC Holdings is the nation’s largest independent electric transmission company. Based in Novi, ITC invests in the electric transmission grid to improve 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.