Salem-Hazleton Transmission Line Project

ITC Midwest identified the Salem-Hazleton project as a priority after acquiring the region’s high-voltage electric transmission lines in December 2007. In April 2013, ITC Midwest energized the more than 80 miles of line, which extends from ITC Midwest’s Salem substation south of Dubuque, Iowa, to its Hazleton substation in Buchanan County.

As energy demand has grown over the years, certain areas of the Midwest have experienced energy bottlenecks caused by lack of electric transmission capacity. These bottlenecks hurt electric reliability and add costs to energy consumed in the region. ITC Midwest and the regional reliability organization, the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (Midwest ISO), first identified the need to address this energy reliability issue in the Midwest ISO’s 2006 Eastern Iowa Reliability Study. Completing the Salem-Hazleton line will complete a “reliability loop” of 345 kV lines in Eastern Iowa and ensure adequate electric transmission capacity to prevent system congestion in the area.




  • What will the line look like?
    The short answer is that ITC Midwest hasn’t yet begun the final design of the line, so it is difficult to definitively describe the line’s final appearance. But there are some general elements that are defined. For example, the line will use single pole structures, instead of the “H” structure that has been traditionally used. “H” structures consist of two poles with cross arms between them and are currently used on the section of the proposed Salem-Hazleton route where there is an existing line. Any “H” structures along the current route will be removed and replaced with the new single pole structures. Landowners generally prefer the single poles, because they take up less land and are much easier to farm around. In addition, the single pole structures will be self-supporting, which means they will not have any guy wires or anchors that take up additional space. The poles will be made of self-weathering steel that will naturally form surface rust to a reddish-brown color. Rural neighbors of transmission lines often prefer the naturally-weathered finish, instead of the shiny galvanized surface that urban city planners generally prefer. Beyond that, the poles’ final design will be based on location, terrain and a pole’s location on the line route. For instance, through Buchanan and Delaware Counties, the poles will be “double-circuited,” meaning that they will be configured to have two sets of three lines or “conductors.” Where the line runs through Dubuque County, it will be mostly single circuit, consisting of only three conductors. Each conductor is actually two wires wrapped tightly together. This configuration provides greater stability to the line, reducing the phenomenon of “galloping” that can occur when ice builds up and winter winds are heavy. That should also reduce the repair and maintenance needs on the line. The poles will extend approximately 105 to 155 feet in the air. Poles will be spaced approximately 800 feet apart, but final spacing also will depend on the pole’s location along the line route and the geographic features of the area.
  • Where will the line be located on my property?
    The final line location will be determined by the line segment, terrain and where the line runs on adjoining properties. ITC Midwest representatives will meet one-on-one with landowners to discuss the easements that need to be obtained for the line. If you have a preference for the line location on your property, please be sure to describe that to the land agent when he or she calls on you. ■



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