Hiawatha-Coffey 161 kV Transmission Line

To improve reliability and meet the region’s growing energy demands, ITC Midwest  built a new electric transmission line and substation in northern Linn County, Iowa. The Hiawatha-Coffey line connects ITC Midwest’s existing Hiawatha electric substation (located in the south part of Robins) to a new substation, called Coffey substation, located one-half mile west of Highway 13. The new line connects the two substations, which are approximately 10 miles apart, and carry electricity at 161 kV.




  • How big will this line be?
    The line will extend approximately 10 miles from the Hiawatha electric substation to the new Coffey substation just west of Highway 13. The line will carry electricity at 161 kV. Depending on the terrain along the line route, the new tubular steel poles will be approximately 70 to 110 feet tall and will be spaced between 300 to 800 feet apart. The structures will either be embedded directly into the ground or sit on concrete foundations that are between five and eight feet in diameter.
  • Why are you building this line?
    This line is part of a series of upgrades that ITC Midwest is implementing in Linn County to strengthen the region’s electric transmission system. The line will provide a second electrical feed into the Hiawatha substation. That second feed is needed both to improve reliability and to serve the growing energy demand of the area’s residential, commercial and industrial customers. Northern Linn County has grown significantly in recent years. In the latest census results, Robins’ population grew by 74 percent in the past 10 years, and Center Point grew by 20 percent. Hiawatha and Central City grew by 8 and 9 percent, respectively. Overall, Linn County has added more than 19,500 residents since 2000 and more than 42,000 residents in the past 20 years.
  • Whose approval is required to build this line?
    ITC Midwest has presented this project to the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (Midwest ISO) which reviews and approves transmission projects. The Midwest ISO has approved this project. In addition, ITC Midwest must request and secure a franchise from the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) prior to construction of the line. The IUB process begins with the May 4 public information meeting, after which ITC Midwest will be able to negotiate for easements along the route.
  • How was this route chosen?
    The primary factor in the line route is the location of the current and planned electric substations on both ends of the line. To determine an appropriate route to connect the two substations, ITC Midwest carefully considered all of the factors mandated by Iowa Code §478.18(2) and Section 11.1(7) of the Iowa Administrative Code to attempt to minimize the impact of the line on landowners.
  • What is the timing for construction?
    Construction will depend on the timetable for acquiring landowner easements and obtaining IUB approval. But ITC Midwest has proposed starting construction in 2012 with completion by the end of the year.
  • What is being done to ensure this line will be safe?
    This line will be designed to meet and even exceed the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC), the required design standard in the United States. This code requires construction to withstand extreme weather conditions. ITC will make sure that the line is clear of trees and other vegetation that could affect the line’s operation and put the public in harm’s way. ITC Midwest currently owns and operates more than 1,400 miles of lines at this voltage across the region and 67 miles of 161 kV line in Linn County alone.



Stay up-to-date with ITC activities throughout our footprint.


Capital Projects

Learn more about ITC capital projects across our footprint.

Projects & Initiatives Map


Follow ITC's track record of success in helping our utility partners connect to the grid.