Electric Transmission Upgrades in Michigan to Generate $6B in Economic Benefits

Michigan Electric Transmission Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp. in Novi, has announced plans to construct, own, and operate new transmission line projects in Michigan, which are expected to provide state ratepayers with more than $6 billion in economic benefits while creating approximately 4,100 jobs by 2030.
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Power Line at the Blue Sky
Michigan Electric Transmission Co. will construct, own, and operate new transmission lines to increase grid stability in Michigan. // Stock Photo

Michigan Electric Transmission Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp. in Novi, has announced plans to construct, own, and operate new transmission line projects in Michigan, which are expected to provide state ratepayers with more than $6 billion in economic benefits while creating approximately 4,100 jobs by 2030.

The new electric transmission projects are part of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s (MISO) Long Range Transmission Planning (LRTP) Tranche 1 Portfolio of projects. The project is the first new interstate connection to Michigan’s transmission system in nearly 50 years.

With an estimated investment of $850 million, the planned projects are designed to improve grid reliability and resiliency, reduce system congestion, support the state’s economic development efforts, and enable an electrified economy as Michigan continues its transition towards a lower carbon and renewable energy future.

“This overall portfolio of new high-voltage transmission lines will provide numerous benefits and deliver value to electric consumers throughout Michigan,” says Simon Whitelocke, president of ITC Michigan. “As the energy landscape continues to change, these lines are critically important to Michigan as the state will greatly benefit from the increased ability to import power to maintain electric reliability. It will also enhance Michigan’s access to regional generation as far west as Iowa and beyond.”

Approximately 110 miles of new 345 kilovolt (kV) lines will be constructed from northern Indiana to a new ITC substation located approximately 20 miles southwest of Lansing, and will include new 345kV lines extending west of Lansing to Gratiot County. Additionally, 75 miles of existing transmission lines from Jackson County to Wayne County will be upgraded to help improve reliability, storm resiliency, and system efficiency.

The formal notice of intent was filed with the Michigan Public Service Commission and in accordance with the Transmission Infrastructure Planning Act. The bipartisan legislation passed by the Michigan legislature last year ensures utilities with a proven track record in the state can construct these systems. These will be the first new transmission projects since the legislation took effect.

“Looking around the country and seeing preventable events such as what’s occurring in California or the unfortunate events in Texas with winter storm Uri, Michigan must be proactive to ensure that we have the tools in our toolbox to allow for the needed investments to be made in our energy infrastructure to ensure system reliability and resiliency,” says State Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City.

ITC will be evaluating and proposing specific route options and working with state regulators to advance the project through the regulatory processes.

ITC Holdings Corp., the nation’s largest independent electricity transmission company, owns and operates two subsidiaries in the state: ITCTransmission and METC (collectively, ITC Michigan). The two systems comprise approximately 8,700 circuit miles of transmission line serving most of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

For more information, visit itc-holdings.com.

ITC is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. For further information, visit fortisinc.com.