International Transmission Company, Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC, Applaud Legislature's Action and Governor's Signing of Eminent Domain Legislation

Jul 15, 2004

Novi/Ann Arbor, MI, July 15, 2004 - The Acts, which were signed into law by Governor Jennifer Granholm on Tuesday, July 13 also recognize the important role the independent transmission companies play in serving Michigan's energy needs today and in the future.

"This is a major step forward in our ability to better serve our customers' needs and Michigan's continued growing demand for energy," said Joseph Welch, president and CEO of International Transmission, the owner of Southeast Michigan's high voltage electric transmission grid.

"Enacting these laws also recognizes that the independent transmission system business model, which strives to provide the lowest delivered energy cost, is a viable, robust part of the total electrical delivery system," said Welch.

Specifically, the new laws clarify that independent transmission companies may use the eminent domain procedures, where necessary and appropriate, to site new transmission facilities. They update existing statutes to ensure independent transmission companies have the same eminent domain authority that traditional utilities have possessed for decades. The new laws also allow independent transmission companies to gain siting approval for new transmission facilities from the Michigan Public Service Commission. Such approval will be obtained only after extensive review, input and participation by all interested parties.

"It's in our best interest to work with the local communities where we provide service," said Julie Couillard, executive vice president and COO of METC, which delivers transmission electric service to the majority of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. "These laws ensure that our customers will have a voice in the construction of new towers and corridors that provide reliable electric service to their communities."

The laws also ensure close cooperation with the Michigan Public Service Commission, the state agency that oversees public utilities. To gain siting approval of new major electric transmission lines, independent transmission companies are required to submit an application and construction plan to the commission, hold public meetings in affected municipalities and give public notices about the planned construction. The independent transmission company also must demonstrate that its planned construction is reasonable, safe and benefits the public.

The new laws keep Michigan, with its two independent transmission companies, in the forefront of providing low-cost, reliable electrical service to its citizens.

Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC

Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC (METC) was founded in 2002 and became an independent electric transmission company when it acquired the electric transmission system of Consumers Energy Company in May 2002. METC is a federally regulated company that provides electric transmission service to a population of more than six million people in 275 cities and villages in 61 counties throughout Michigan's Lower Peninsula. We provide transmission service over 5,400 miles of transmission lines on an open-access basis, offering service to all eligible customers. Our business focuses solely on high-voltage electricity transmission.

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Lisa Roseland
International Transmission Co.

Marc Harlow
Franco Public Relations Group

Heather Hurtado
Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc.