Duke-American Transmission Co. (DATC) is moving ahead with plans to fill gaps in the existing grid first set, unveiling seven new transmission line projects in five Midwestern states last week. These projects will improve electric system reliability and market efficiency, and provide economic benefits to local utilities, Duke’s transmission arm said.

In submittals to regional transmission organizations MISO and PJM, DATC will propose seven distinct projects in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. The DATC projects include more than 1,300 circuit miles of 345-kV lines and 550 miles of 500-kV high-voltage direct-current lines. The individual projects range from 65 to 696 miles and have a total cost of approximately $4 billion.

“These projects represent strategic solutions,” says John Flynn, vice president of Strategic Planning and Business Development for American Transmission Co.  “The DATC projects relieve congestion on the grid, provide operational flexibility to enhance system reliability, and deliver economic and market benefits. Some of these projects are stand-alone projects, and some work in conjunction with MISO’s multi-value projects and other DATC projects.”

“These projects are not just lines drawn on a map or a one-size-fits-all solution,” said Phillip Grigsby, Duke Energy Commercial Businesses senior vice president. “We’ve taken a methodical approach to address specific regional transmission needs by building upon work already done and developing innovative solutions in the areas where they are most needed.”

DATC said it would submit these projects to MISO for inclusion in the Midwest Transmission Expansion Plan; a subset of these projects will be submitted to PJM’s Regional Transmission Expansion Plan. The company also said it would begin meeting with the local utilities, regulators, public officials and agencies in the five states in which the projects are proposed, as well as with federal and regional energy regulators.

The projects would be constructed in phases over the next 10 years, with certain projects serving as prerequisites for others.

Sources: POWERnews, DATC