Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI) has received siting approval of final routes and sub-stations from the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) ICC to build the $1.1bn Illinois Rivers transmission project.
The 345,000V transmission line project, which is claimed to be the longest single transmission line in Illinois history, will facilitate the delivery of low-cost power and improve the reliability and efficiency of the electric power grid, apart from creating new jobs.
ATXI chairman, president and CEO Maureen Borkowski said, "This project will benefit the state’s economy, create jobs and provide Illinois electricity customers greater access to a variety of low-cost energy sources, including wind energy."
In August 2013, the ICC approved the need for the project and some of the project routes and substations. The current approval from ICC resolved all remaining routes and substation location issues.
Utilising steel poles with a single shaft, the transmission line will run from Palmyra, crossing the Mississippi River at Quincy and then run east past Meredosia, Pawnee, Pana, Mt. Zion and Kansas, ending at Sugar Creek, Ind., with additional lines running from Meredosia to Ipava and between the Sidney and Rising substations near Champaign.
Currently, the substation construction is underway, while the line construction is expected to begin later in 2014.
The project has already been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, a regional transmission organization serving a 15-state region and the Canadian province of Manitoba.
ATXI began surveying work and negotiations with landowners to secure 150-foot-wide easements after action by the ICC in August last year.
Image: The project is the longest single transmission line in Illinois history. Photo: courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net.