LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
What does it mean to provide value? At ITC, providing value means improving the reliability of the grid, expanding access to competitive electricity markets and facilitating the interconnection of new generation sources. It also means lowering the cost of delivered energy, supporting local economies and creating jobs.
To quantify the value and benefits that ITC provides to customers, we asked global consulting firm ICF to study our investments in the greater grid over a 10-year period from 2008-2017. During that timeframe, ITC invested $3.1 billion in Michigan grid improvements resulting in over $5 billion in benefits, which will continue to accrue over the 40+ years-service life of ITC’s projects. So, what does that mean?
For our customers, and for the 10 million residents of Michigan’s lower peninsula, it means lower electricity costs. ITC’s investment in transmission infrastructure reduces congestion and provides greater flexibility to use more economical generation resources, when available, and therefor allows us to access generation resources more efficiently. Among these generation sources, ITC’s projects enabled the interconnection of 1,539 megawatts (MW) of wind generation during the study period.
It also means significant reliability benefits. ICF assessed 255 Baseline Reliability projects implemented in Michigan between 2008 and 2017. Baseline Reliability projects are network upgrades required to ensure that transmission systems comply with applicable reliability standards. ITC’s transmission systems routinely perform in the top tier of utilities nationally for service reliability. By implementing proactive system improvements that reduce the frequency and duration of outages, ITC has steadily reduced the number of outages on its two Michigan systems – by 48% in our ITCTransmission system and 24% in our METC system.
To the communities we serve it means increased economic activity due to job creation and local spending. During the study period, ITC’s investments supported 25,000 job-years (FTEs), or 2,500 jobs per year. It also means increased tax revenues derived from ITC’s increase in economic activity at the state and local levels.
The transmission grid continues to keep pace with the changing needs of consumers, supporting periods of rapid growth in the demand for electricity and evolving to meet the need for a rapidly changing mix of supply sources under more modest demand growth. This will become even more important in the future as the need for clean energy continues to grow and power is sourced from widespread geographic areas. The total value of transmission is difficult to quantify, but ICF’s assessment shows a high ratio of customer benefits to project costs. These benefits will continue to grow as the transmission system continues to serve the increasing needs of the public.
All of that adds up to meaningful value for our customers, and theirs.
Simon S. Whitelocke
Vice President, ITC Holdings Corp. and President, ITC Michigan
ITC Supports Healthy Sleep Habits
We all know that diet and exercise can have a significant impact on health, happiness and productivity.
But there’s a third piece of the wellness puzzle that’s often undervalued and overlooked: sleep. Getting a regular, good night’s sleep – as much as 10-13 hours for children! – is vital to physical, cognitive and emotional health. Sleep affects mood, memory, reaction time, decision making, weight, heart health and more.
Sweet Dreamzzz is a Michigan-based non-profit organization committed to improving children’s health, well-being and academic performance by providing sleep education and bedtime essentials to economically disadvantaged students and their families. Sweet Dreamzzz facilitates sleep programs that teach preschool through 5th grade children, and their parents, the benefits of healthy sleep habits, helping them establish a healthy bedtime routine and providing them with the bedtime essentials to sleep well.
Sweet Dreamzzz, with support from ITC’s CHARITABLE GIVING PROGRAM, was able to provide training, parent workshops, lesson plans and classroom materials to four Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency Head Start sites, impacting 140 preschool students this year.
“It starts with simply introducing why sleep is so important, how much sleep preschoolers need, and then step-by-step how to follow the R.E.A.D.Y. Bedtime Routine,” says Louise Derry, director of grants and community engagement for Sweet Dreamzzz, Inc.
Each student received a Family Bedtime Routine Pack containing a toothbrush, toothpaste and a R.E.A.D.Y. Bedtime Routine magnet, chart, and sleep-themed stickers to make it easier for participating families to practice healthy sleep habits at home. Additionally, each student received their own teddy bear to use in the classroom and then take home.
“Sleep is very important. In the classroom we see kids who are tired, and they don’t want to participate. Getting a good night’s sleep helps them get ready to learn. It’s going to help in the classroom, it’s going to help at home. It’s going to help your child be prepared for their day,” says parent and teacher assistant Bethany Travis-Holts.
All educational materials are re-usable, which means that the program can be sustained with all future preschool students for years to come, making sleep health education an ongoing part of their classroom curriculum.
“I’m hoping that the parents use the skills they learned here, coupled with what the kids learned in class, and really bring it home, really make it part of their everyday routine. And in the years to come we take this curriculum and pass it along to parents that come to our Wayne Metro family,” said Sue Kook, Family Engagement Coordinator for Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency Head Start.
ITC Celebrates the Season
Throughout Michigan, ITC is celebrating the holidays with the communities we serve. From the Marshall Christmas Parade to Christmas in Ida and the Wayne County Lightfest, we’re pleased to support and take part in these local traditions.
Another tradition that we’ve continued this year is lighting up our 150-FOOT TRANSMISSION TOWERS with colorful holiday lights and a festive greeting. Look for our lighted towers in:
- Grand Rapids (US 131 north of 28th Street SW)
- Marysville (M-29 Busha Hwy. and Huron Blvd.)
- Novi (I-96 at Meadowbrook)
City of Novi Completes ITC Corridor Trail
On Sept. 28, the City of Novi held the grand opening of the ITC Corridor Trail. The 4.66-mile trail is a collaboration between the City of Novi and ITC, and traverses the entire city from north to south connecting the Ascension Providence Hospital campus to ITC Community Sports Park. The trail is an important link in the overall plan for linking recreation throughout the state. Ultimately, it will link regional facilities – such as Maybury Park, the I-275 Corridor and Hines Park- in the neighboring communities of Northville, Livonia and Westland with parks in Novi. Park enthusiasts will be able to hike and bicycle between different parks and communities instead of risking sharing traffic lanes with larger motor vehicles or packing their equipment into their own motorized vehicle. The trail allows people to get between parks and to our local communities safely while improving their personal health and cutting back on motorized vehicle emissions.
“ITC takes pride in being a good neighbor in our local communities. We work with communities to keep our transmission corridor trails clear of excessive vegetation that can overtake the trails and interfere with transmission lines, ensuring area residents are able to enjoy the natural beauty of the trails and continue receiving safe and reliable power,” said Simon Whitelocke, president of ITC Michigan.
For more information about the trail, and a trail map, CLICK HERE.
Generator Interconnection Projects
As Michigan continues to transition to a cleaner portfolio of power generation resources, additional transmission capacity will be needed to promote the continued reliability of the bulk power system and support the interconnection of new generation resources. The J717 and J728 Generator Interconnection Projects will connect 386 MW of wind generation to ITC’s METC system. To support the interconnection, ITC will construct a new substation, called Salt River, in Warren Twp. The substation will connect to the Warren – Bullock 138,000 volt (138 kV) transmission line. Construction will begin in Q1 2020 and is expected to be completed in Q2 2020. READ MORE HERE.
Vestaburg – Alma Rebuild Project
ITC’s METC subsidiary is upgrading electricity transmission infrastructure in Michigan by rebuilding approximately 16 miles of its Vestaburg – Alma 138 kV transmission line, replacing the existing structures with new monopoles designed for higher-rated conductor (wire) and optical ground wire (OPGW). Additionally, METC will replace the conductor on 3 miles of the adjacent Eureka – Vestaburg line. Construction will begin in Q4 2020 and be completed in Q1 2021. READ MORE HERE.
On December 9, Simon Whitelocke, Vice President of ITC Holdings Corp. and President of ITC Michigan delivered the keynote address to kickoff the 2019 Midwestern Transmission Conference in Indianapolis. During his remarks, he highlighted storage and other DER deployment, as well as the coming of renewables. You can read more about his remarks and the 2019 Midwestern Transmission conference HERE.
ITC and AWEA on Grid Geeks Podcast
Connecting renewable energy resources to the electric grid in most places requires access to new or existing transmission. However, the current pace of transmission expansion plus policy, regulatory and permitting challenges all pose substantial barriers to transmission and renewable energy project development. ITC’s Nina Plaushin, Vice President, Regulatory and Federal Affairs, and Amy Farrell, the Senior Vice President for Government and Public Affairs at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), discussed key trends and issues impacting large-scale renewable energy development and the transmission system on Grid Geeks. Read more about her interview remarks on MODERNIZE THE GRID or listen in on SOUNDCLOUD or Apple iTunes today.