Novi, Mich., March 5, 2012 — ITC Transmission, a unit of ITC Holdings Corp., selected Iron Mountain, Michigan-based M.J. Electric, LLC, a Quanta Services company, to build the first segment of the Thumb Loop high-voltage transmission line.
Phase 1 of the double-circuit, 345 kV line will extend about 62 miles from the site of the new Bauer substation in Tuscola Township, southwestern Tuscola County, to the new Rapson substation in Huron County, east of Bad Axe in Sigel Township in the state's Thumb region.
ITC's selection of M.J. Electric was based on a competitive bidding process as well as the company's history of project completion for ITC in this field.
Line construction on the 62-mile Phase 1 segment will begin in early April and continue into 2013. Crews will drill pole foundations, install steel monopole and lattice structures, and string conductors (wires) between the two substations.
ITC has worked with landowners along the route to negotiate easement agreements and establish access points for equipment and materials along the 200-foot-wide transmission corridor.
The Thumb Loop project consists of about 140 miles of double-circuit 345 kV transmission lines and four new substations. It will serve as the "backbone" of a system designed to meet the identified maximum wind energy potential of the Thumb region and will be capable of supporting a maximum capacity of about 5,000 MW.
As an important link in the high-voltage transmission system in Michigan and the region, it also will contribute to reducing congestion, improving system reliability and facilitating wholesale market competition. Additional lines and facilities will be needed in the future as wind generators go into service and connect to the backbone system.
The project will be constructed in stages, with the first segment, the western side of the loop from Tuscola County to Huron County, scheduled to start construction in 2012 and finish in late 2013. The remainder is targeted for completion by 2015.