[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


News Home

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Thumb Loop takes another major step  

Credit:  By Chris Aldridge, Tribune Staff Writer | Huron Daily Tribune | June 25, 2014 | www.michigansthumb.com ~~

UPPER THUMB – Construction recently started for the final phase of ITC Transmission’s 140-mile Thumb Loop high-voltage transmission line in Huron County.

The transmission line connects Huron, Sanilac, Tuscola and St. Clair counties. ITC says 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 megawatts generated from 2,800 wind turbines.

“It’s the largest product in our company’s history,” ITC Transmission President Gregory Ioanidis said Tuesday.

“Phase 3,” which runs from the Rapson substation in Huron County through Sanilac County and into St. Clair County, is about 10 percent complete, he said.

“We expect to have Phase 3 done by 2015, which would represent completion of the entire project,” Ioanidis said.

Construction of the Thumb Loop started in 2011. “Phase 1” consists of 62 miles of double-circuit, 345,000 volt lines from the Bauer substation in Tuscola County to the Rapson substation in Huron County. It was put into service last September.

At a townhall meeting in Greenwood on Tuesday, the company announced completion of the 20-mile Phase 2 section in St. Clair County.

While Ioanidis said it would be hard separate the output of the portions of lines running through Huron County – specifically how the project would impact Huron County’s economy – he said construction of the entire project means an impact of $366 million to Michigan’s economy and an addition of 320 jobs.

“Most of that being felt here, in St. Clair, Tuscola, Huron (and Sanilac),” he said. “We’ll be needing gravel, cement, asphalt … we’ll need all those supplies. Crews are eating in restaurants. They’re staying in hotels. That boom is pretty significant for this part of the state.”

A 2008 state law requires utilities to produce 10 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2015. Ioanidis said as part of the process, “it was a matter of finding the best place to locate wind facilities in the state.”

“The Thumb was identified as being the ideal area to develop wind,” he said. “All these projects that are interconnecting to the grid we’ll certainly be able to accommodate, and we’ll even have room for more as we push toward that maximum number.”

Ioanidis said ITC hosts townhall meetings to hear feedback from residents and community leaders – from both those who oppose wind energy and those in favor – to determine locations of structures and line routes.

“At the end of the day, construction can be disruptive,” Ioanidis said. “But we try to bring back the land as best as possible to where it was when we first entered the area. We want to be a good neighbor.”

Part of being a good neighbor may mean reduced energy costs for residents plugged into the line, which Ioanidis said is possible because the lines are powered by renewable sources, meaning lower costs and a more efficient flow of electricity.

Ioanidis said the project has been “smooth sailing,” except for a few challenges at the start.

“We had a couple of property owners here and there, but for the most part we were able to effectively deal with everyone,” he said. “It’s been open, it’s been transparent and forthright.”

Source:  By Chris Aldridge, Tribune Staff Writer | Huron Daily Tribune | June 25, 2014 | www.michigansthumb.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.