I&M plans new Auburn-Butler power lines
Indiana Michigan Power on Monday announced plans for an approximately $17 million investment to improve its electric transmission system in DeKalb County.
The Auburn-Butler Transmission Line Rebuild Project is essential to ensure continued reliable electric service is available to customers, the power company said in a news release.
Plans for the project include upgrading approximately 5 miles of 69-kilovolt transmission line to 138kV; constructing approximately 4 miles of new 138 kV transmission line; replacing wood poles with steel monopoles; and installing new wire for the 138 kV lines.
The current transmission line’s infrastructure has reached an age where its replacement is needed to better serve area customers, the release said.
Improvements will reduce both the number of outages and the time needed to restore service when outages occur, and increasing the voltage will reinforce the system to meet customer demands for electricity, the utility company said.
To gather information from the public and affected landowners, I&M will host a public open house Wednesday, Jan. 18, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at La Quinta Inn and Conference Center, 306 Touring Drive, Auburn. Project representatives will be available to answer questions and obtain local community input. There will be no formal meeting or agenda. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.
Additional information about the project, including a project timeline, fact sheet and map, may be found at IndianaMichiganPower.com/Auburn-Butler.
The online map of the project shows I&M would rebuild a transmission line that runs from a substation near 15th and Center streets in Auburn northeast toward the village of Moore on C.R. 49.
An existing portion of the line that runs from just west of Moore to one mile west of Butler would be removed.
Starting at a point along C.R. 38, west of C.R. 47, a new line toward Butler would be constructed. It would follow C.R. 40 to reach the New Millennium Building Systems plant. At that point, it would connect with an existing transmission line that runs north along C.R. 61.
Two miles north of New Millennium, the path would rejoin the existing Auburn-Butler line, which would be rebuilt where it runs northeast approximately one mile to Butler.
I&M’s map also shows a potential new transmission line wrapping around the southeast side of Auburn. It would follow Auburn Drive, with two options for connecting east of Auburn to the northeasterly Auburn-Butler line.
The timeline for the project shows the utility would acquire right-of-way this year, with construction taking place in 2018.
The project’s fact sheet says the new, steel monopoles for the transmission line would be 85 to 125 feet tall. They would be placed in the center of a 100-foot-wide right-of-way corridor.
Indiana Michigan Power is an operating unit of American Electric Power. With headquarters in Fort Wayne, I&M has 2,450 employees and more than 589,000 customers.