Distribution Automation / Substation Automation, T&D, Transmission

Fortis unit ITC Midwest energizes 345-kV transmission line

ITC Midwest LLC, a Fortis company, on Sept. 14 provided an update to Minnesota regulators on the company’s Minnesota-Iowa 345-kV Transmission Line Project, noting, for instance, that the Huntley-Faribault 161-kV line was energized on Aug. 31.

As noted in the filing, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in November 2014 granted ITC Midwest a route permit for the project and associated facilities in Jackson, Martin, and Faribault counties.

Restoration work reached 100 percent completion in August for Segment 1 (Lakefield-Fox Lake) of the project, concluding all activity on Segment 1, the company said.

Work on Segment 2 (Fox Lake-Rutland) of the project remains at 98 percent completion overall as previously reported, the company said, adding that the final work on the pulling of conductor is anticipated to be complete this month.

While construction reached 100 percent completion on the associated facilities in July, restoration activities remain ongoing, the company said.

Commissioning at the Huntley substation continues and remained at 79 percent complete through the end of August, the company noted, adding that construction activities on foundations, setting of structures, and line work continued in August on Segment 4 (Huntley to Iowa Border) of the project, with work at 39 percent complete overall.

Construction on Segment 3 (Rutland-Huntley) of the project also continued in August, ITC Midwest said, noting that foundations are now 45 percent complete, spotting is 54 percent complete, and overall completion is at 30 percent.

As noted on ITC Holdings’ website, the project includes a 345-kV line between the Lakefield Junction substation east of Lakefield in Jackson County and the proposed Huntley substation south of Winnebago in Faribault County in Minnesota, and connecting to substations in northern Iowa. The project also includes extensions and relocations of certain 161-kV facilities in Faribault County, the site noted.

The commission granted two approvals before construction of the project: a certificate of need and a route permit, the site noted, adding that ITC Midwest in early 2013 filed a certificate of need application and a route permit application with the commission.

The commission in November 2014 granted ITC Midwest a certificate of need and issued ITC Midwest a route permit for the project, according to the site. The route permit identified the route (referred to as “Modified Route A”) that the commission felt was most appropriate for the project based on the analysis completed by the Department of Commerce, Energy Environmental Review & Analysis in the environmental impact statement for the project, the site noted.

ITC Midwest began construction of the project in November 2015, working generally from west to east and then south to Iowa, the site noted, adding that the project is scheduled to be in service this year.