International Transmission Company Nears Completion of First Phase of Electric Reliability Project in Thumb Area

Dec 10, 2004

International Transmission Company Nears Completion of First Phase of Electric Reliability Project in Thumb Area

New steel towers to replace aged wooden poles from 1940s to improve reliability and provide for increased population growth

Lapeer and Tuscola County, Mich., Dec. 10, 2004 – International Transmission Company today announced that the first phase of its "Thumb Loop Rebuild Project" is nearing completion. The Thumb Loop Rebuild Project will upgrade the electric transmission line running from ITC's Hunters Creek Station in Lapeer County to ITC's Tuscola Station in Tuscola County.

The Project is divided into two phases. The first phase starts at the Hunters Creek Station and extends to the Bergen Station in Lapeer County and is expected to be completed by the end of December. The second phase between Bergen Station and Tuscola Station will begin in June 2005 and end in December 2005.

"It is International Transmission Company's mission to provide the best service possible to communities in which we operate," said Joseph Welch, President and CEO of International Transmission Company. "Reliability is our focus, and it was apparent that the equipment was grossly outdated and that something had to be done. Our project in the Thumb will increase capacity, greatly decrease the number of interruptions in power, and ultimately lower cost."

The Thumb area's existing transmission line is a single circuit 120 kV line hanging on wooden H-frames that were built in the 1940s. After sixty years in the ground, the old, wooden H-frames have served the Thumb area well but are now past their useful life. Not only are the wooden poles showing signs of severe aging, but the conductor material that carries the power to the homes and communities of Lapeer and Tuscola counties is also in critical need of replacement.

Historically, the Thumb area has suffered from electric reliability issues, but the new towers and lines will address these concerns while also providing for increased capacity that will be required as the population of the Thumb area continues to grow. Lapeer County, the 14th fastest growing County in Michigan, is expected to grow approximately 12% over the next ten years.

"The current equipment for power transmission just isn't sufficient for our current power needs, let alone enough to support growth we're experiencing here," said Dave Taylor, Chairman of the Lapeer County Board of Commissioners. "We're thrilled that ITC is addressing the needs of the community."

Upon completion of the project, the existing single circuit transmission line will be replaced with a double circuit. The double circuit will improve reliability. With a single circuit, energy cannot re-route itself in the event of an equipment outage. With a double circuit, redundancy within the system will allow the energy to continue to flow and therefore, even with an outage on a particular piece of equipment, service to community members will not be disrupted.

The Thumb Loop Rebuild Project also provides ancillary benefits in addition to increased reliability and support for future population growth. The 2-poled wooden H-frames will be replaced by a single steel pole that will consume a smaller footprint leaving more usable land and an increased amount of clearance between the wires and the ground. The end result is a less obtrusive alternative to the wooden frames that will ensure the reliability of the Thumb area.

International Transmission Company
Lisa Roseland
Franco Public Relations
Erin Mays