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Powering the Next in Reliability

I&M is strengthening the Indiana electric grid to reduce the number and duration of power outages for customers and the communities it serves. That’s why we are Powering the Next in reliability.

I&M maintains more than 15,000 miles of distribution power lines and 193 substations in Indiana. Much of the system was built in the 1960s and 1970s and continued investments are needed to replace aging infrastructure and provide safe, reliable service.

Our proposed work plan referenced in the rate review includes:

  • Replacing 120 miles of overhead and underground power lines
  • Replacing more than 2,500 poles
  • Upgrading 16 substations
  • Addressing the leading cause of outages by inspecting and trimming trees along 4,000 line miles since trees are the number one cause of outage for I&M customers.

Projects approved in previous rate reviews have resulted in improved Service Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) scores, which is how the energy industry measures the average length of outages, due to transmission, station, vegetation and equipment failures. From 2019 to the end of 2020, we saw an 18.6% overall reduction.

  • Equipment Failure SAIDI is at a 3-year low
  • Transmission SAIDI at is a 5-year low
  • Station SAIDI is at a 4-year low
  • Tree/Vegetation SAIDI is at a 5-year low
    • Our current 4-year tree trim cycle, approved in a prior rate review, is responsible for the substantial decrease in tree and vegetation outages.
      • There has been close to a 30% reduction in tree and vegetation-related SAIDI since the beginning of the trim cycle in 2017.
    • The pending proposal would build on this success by starting a new 4-year trim cycle in 2022.

Our reliability successes indicate that a continuation of these efforts will continue to improve service to our customers.

In addition to these upgrades, we plan to perform additional risk mitigation work, including:

  • Inspecting more than 30,000 wooden poles
  • Inspecting more than 2,400 miles of overhead power lines
  • Inspecting four downtown city underground networks (South Bend, Elkhart, Fort Wayne and Muncie)

We also continue to invest in our generation sources to ensure reliable energy for our customers.

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