SOUTH BEND, Ind., – Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) plans to invest approximately $66 million to enhance the electrical network in Berrien and Cass counties in Michigan and St. Joseph County in Indiana. These improvements are necessary to meet the area’s current and future power demands and provide reliable electric service to customers.
The Niles Area Transmission Improvements Project involves upgrading or expanding three substations, building two new substations and building approximately 3.5 miles of high-voltage transmission line to connect the new substations to the electrical network. Crews plan to complete the project in three phases, listed below.
- The Niles North component, located in Cass County, Mich., involves expanding the existing 69-kilovolt (kV) Kenzie Creek Substation, rebuilding the 138-kV Pokagon Substation and building approximately 1.5 miles of new 69-kV transmission line.
- The Niles Central component, located in Berrien and Cass counties, involves building the new 69-kV FourFlag Substation, upgrading the 69-kV Lake Street Substation, retiring 2.5 miles of 34.5-kV transmission line and building a half-mile mile extension of 69-kV transmission line to connect the new substation to the electrical network.
- The Niles South component, located in St. Joseph County, Indiana, involves building the new 138-kV Boundary Substation, building 1 mile of 138-kV transmission line and building a half-mile of 69-kV transmission line.
Company officials determined the proposed power line routes after reviewing land use, environmental impact and community input following Indiana Michigan Power’s project announcement, a virtual open house and in-person open houses in March.
“Community feedback is essential for this process and provides our project teams with local knowledge that we can use to determine the route with the least impact to the environment and community,” said Mona Livingston, I&M Community Affairs manager. “These improvements are critical to maintaining reliable electric service for our customers in the Michiana area.”
Plans call for construction to begin fall 2023 and conclude spring 2024. For more information, please visit: IndianaMichiganPower.com/NilesArea
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Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its approximately 2,100 employees serve more than 600,000 customers. More than 80% of its energy delivered in 2021 was emission-free. I&M has at its availability various sources of generation including 2,278 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan, 450 MW of purchased wind generation from Indiana, more than 22 MW of hydro generation in both states and approximately 35 MW of large-scale solar generation in both states. The company’s generation portfolio also includes 2,620 MW of coal-fueled generation in Indiana.
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is powering a cleaner, brighter energy future for its customers and communities. AEP’s approximately 16,700 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to safely deliver reliable and affordable power to 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 30,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 6,100 megawatts of renewable energy. The company’s plans include growing its renewable generation portfolio to approximately 50% of total capacity by 2030. AEP is on track to reach an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2000 levels by 2030 and has committed to achieving net zero by 2050. AEP is recognized consistently for its focus on sustainability, community engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, which provides innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.