LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT – SUMMER 2020
An Unwavering Commitment to Safety
Safety has always been a top priority at ITC. Since ITC activated its pandemic and business continuity plans in early March, our focus has been on keeping our facilities and employees healthy and safe, while continuing to provide reliable energy delivery to customers and communities.
Like many of you, we’ve made changes over the last several months in how we conduct our work. For several weeks, we took the important step of sequestering certain employees who work in our operations control room. Certain other employees have been working at home, and we’ve found new ways to connect with each other and with you during this time through online chats, videos and virtual conferences. Throughout it all, we have continued to serve our customers every day, maintaining our high standards of safety and service.
We have continued to work closely with industry leaders, local and state officials, and customers across our footprint to coordinate response efforts and share best practices. Now as we look ahead, ITC has put in place a responsible re-entry plan to begin the transition back to our offices and facilities in a safe, productive manner. We’re doing so cautiously, starting with employees who need access to special equipment or perform other critical functions. The remainder of our team will continue to work from home, and will attend meetings and events virtually whenever possible. We’ve also established guidelines for our employees when in-person meetings are necessary. I invite all of you to learn more about ITC’s continuing response to COVID-19 and our Responsible Re-entry Plan by clicking at the top of the page for an informative fact sheet.
As we return to the workplace, our team will remain flexible and make adjustments as conditions warrant, without losing focus on ITC’s important work: operating the high-voltage electric transmission grid to ensure the safe, reliable delivery of energy to the communities we serve.
Be well, and stay safe.
Vice President, ITC Holding Corp., and President, ITC Michigan
ITC Supports Pandemic Response with Disaster Relief Funding As the nation rallied to support the fight against the pandemic, ITC provided disaster relief funding to support agencies in Michigan. The relief effort is part of ITC’s $500,000 two-phase funding commitment to support relief agencies throughout its seven-state footprint.
The first round of funding supported Michigan food banks, pantries and soup kitchens. In addition, ITC provided support the City of Detroit Coronavirus Testing program to help transport residents to designated COVID-19 testing sites. As part of its second round of funding, ITC provided support to disaster relief agencies that offer mental health and substance abuse support throughout Michigan.
Through its Charitable Giving Program, ITC awards grants to qualified 501 (c) (3) organizations that deliver charitable services in the counties where ITC operates. Grants support programs and projects that reflect ITC’s giving priorities: education, environmental stewardship, social services, health and wellness and arts and culture. ITC is streamlining the process for our upcoming grant cycles to focus on this relief effort. For more information, please click HERE.
ITC Conducting Aerial Patrols
ITC will be conducting aerial patrols of high-voltage transmission towers and lines throughout Michigan starting August 10, weather permitting. The helicopter patrols are conducted to provide an overall status of the overhead transmission system that is operated by ITC’s Michigan operating entities, ITCTransmission and Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC (METC).
The flights will begin in northern Michigan and will cover nearly all of the Lower Peninsula over the course of several weeks. These patrols are a North American Electrical Reliability Corporation (NERC) requirement for ITC’S VEGETATION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM, support proactive maintenance objectives, and are in line with the company’s model for operational excellence. They include inspections of steel towers, wood poles, conductors (wires), insulators and other equipment. Crews check for damaged or worn equipment and vegetation hazards.
The inspection flights are often conducted at low altitudes to allow accurate visual inspection of equipment for lightning damage, wear or other potential problems. This is normal procedure, so there is no cause for alarm if a low-flying helicopter is sighted near transmission lines. For more information, click HERE.
ITC Supports Customers During Midland Flooding
On May 19, following several days of rainfall and rising water, the Edenville and Sanford Dams in near Midland failed and breached forcing the evacuation of about 3,500 homes and 10,000 people. An evacuation order was issued including the towns of Edenville, Sanford and parts of Midland.
ITC’s MCV, Tittabawassee and Bullock substations are in the vicinity of the Tittabawassee River, downstream of the breach, but were not impacted by the flood. ITC was in close contact with our impacted customers, Consumers Energy, Dow Chemical, Corteva, Dupont, Hemlock Semiconductor, SC Johnson and GM. The breach caused flooding that impacted Corteva/Dupont’s main power generation source and thus these companies needed to rely on ITC’s Tittabawassee Substation to back feed their plants through Consumers Energy. This proved to be successful and prevented a large-scale chemical release. Thanks to the smooth implementation of ITC’s emergency contingency plans and communications, no adverse impacts were experienced by any of these customers.
Corteva had this to say about ITC’s response:
I cannot thank ITC enough for their commitment and willingness to work with us through this flood crisis. Your operations team was professional and specifically Mr. Jason Carter was there for us to have the difficult conversations when the flood and stress was at its peak. We appreciate ITC’s willingness to understand the criticality of the power supply to the Industrial Park. Maintaining power to the site critical infrastructure allowed plants to maintain operations with key layers of protection in place which I am sure played a part in keeping people safe.
Brian D. Luptowski, PE
Corteva Agriscience, Midland, MI
Supporting Electricity Reliability Across Michigan
As owner and operator of the high-voltage electric transmission grid, ITC has continued to provide reliable energy delivery throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some highlights of upcoming projects to support the electricity reliability in Michigan:
Barnum Creek – Batavia
ITC, through its Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC (METC) subsidiary, is upgrading electricity transmission infrastructure in Michigan. METC will rebuild approximately 23 miles of its Barnum Creek – Batavia 138 kV transmission line, replacing the existing structures with new monopoles designed for higher-rated conductor (wire). Construction will begin in Q4 2020 and be completed in Q2 2021. Click HERE to learn more.
ITC, through its ITCTransmission subsidiary, will rebuild approximately 1.5 miles of its Baltic – Coventry 120,000 volt (120 kV) transmission line with new double-circuit monopoles, and will construct approximately 1 mile of new 120 kV transmission line to connect it to a new substation named Nitro in Northville Twp. Construction is expected to begin in Q2 2021 and be completed by Q4 2021. Click HERE to learn more.
Save the Date! ITC’s Virtual Partners in Business Meeting is October 7
Each year the ITC team gathers with customers, stakeholders, local officials and business partners to offer updates on our activities and projects. Through these annual Partners in Business (PIB) meetings, we work to build connections and share information that allows you to maximize the benefits of our investments in the regional grid. This year the ITC team will be offering these updates virtually, with an abbreviated format, on October 7, 2020.
Please click HERE to register. Login credentials and instructions will be provided prior to the meeting.