Michigan-based ITC to build state's first new high-voltage interstate lines in 50 years
Michigan electric transmission company ITC Holdings Corp. says it will build two new high voltage transmission lines in the state. It's part of a first set of transmission projects approved by the Midwest grid operator MISO.
They will be the first new high-voltage interstate transmission lines connecting Michigan to other states in the grid in nearly 50 years.
Chuck Marshall is vice president of Transmission Planning at the company. He says one of the main benefits will be more clean energy. Marshall says Michigan will be able to rely more on renewable energy produced in the state because utilities will be able to use the new transmission lines to import energy during times of peak demand when in-state capacity is exceeded.
"These projects really support wind generation, solar generation, and the retirement of coal as well as providing the state of Michigan greater access to resources outside of the state of Michigan," Marshall says. "We also stand to gain when we have excess generation, we can actually shift that power out of Michigan and support our neighboring utilities and neighboring states."
It's estimated the new high voltage lines will secure about $6 billion in benefits over 20 years for Michigan. Those benefits include lower electricity costs from increased reliance on renewable sources like wind and solar.
ITC estimates the new lines will be operational by 2030. Marshall says this is just the first set of MISO transmission projects to help make the grid more reliable, better able to share power from state to state, and more accessible for new renewable energy projects.