Wabash Valley Power Alliance, a generation and transmission electric cooperative serving 23 distribution electric cooperatives in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, is hard at work improving reliability and performance of its electrical delivery system through Indiana. We’re investing in infrastructure enhancements as part of our commitment to meeting your energy needs today and preparing for the future.
The project involves WVPA constructing a new transmission line to connect the existing Bunker Hill Substation to the existing McGrawsville Substation, both in Miami County.
PROJECT BENEFITS INCLUDE
Improved electric system reliability
Improved transmission capacity
Regional and local growth in central Indiana
New annual tax revenue to north central Indiana to support communities in the county where the line will be located
The Bunker Hill to McGrawsville Project is directly aligned with our strategic goals of providing co-op members with clean, reliable and affordable energy.
MEET THE LAND AGENTS
GENERAL PROJECT FAQS
The Bunker Hill – McGrawsville project includes a new 69 kV (kilovolt) transmission line of approximately 7.2-mile transmission line to be built in north central Indiana. This project will connect the Bunker Hill Substation with the McGrawsville Substation. By linking these two substations the system will benefit from added load capacity by being able to handle more electricity as well as better reliability through redundancy (multiple feeds for each substation).
Construction primarily takes place during daylight hours, but some work may be completed after dusk. Additionally, our contractors may travel to and from the job site before dawn or after dusk. Affected landowners, who have signed an easement will be contacted in person, by phone and/or in writing at least 24 hours prior to the beginning of construction on their property.
This project is necessary to promote grid reliability, relieve congestion to the energy grid, and meet local energy needs. This transmission line will ultimately energize 2 substations, energy is then served to homes and businesses throughout the Miami-Cass REMC territory. This new line will create redundancy in the grid, meaning if a transmission line loses power, energy is more able to be rerouted along a different path and restored to the end user.
Although several different structure types may be used, depending on the presence of existing infrastructure and site-specific conditions, the most common conceptual design employs galvanized steel single-pole structures directly embedded into the ground or bolted onto concrete foundations and supporting a single-circuit 69kV line with intermittent underbuilds of lower voltage distribution lines. Above the circuit will be one optical ground wire (OPGW). The wire will shield the conductors from lightning and provide a path for internal as well as third party communications. Structure heights are anticipated to range between 55 and 75 feet above ground and pole-to-pole spans are anticipated to be 200-300 feet in length, dependent upon terrain and the presence of electric distribution line(s) that may be underneath the transmission line.
This project is expected to generate economic activity and annual tax revenues to support schools, roads, police and emergency and social services in Miami County where the lines will be located. The added capacity to the electrical grid enables new residents and users to connect to the system, bringing new tax dollars and jobs.
Connecting the Bunker Hill Substation to the McGrawsville Substation allows for redundancy, meaning power will get restored much more quickly in the event of an outage.
Connecting the two substations to transmission lines will provide contingency operation in the event of a transmission or substation failure. This will improve the amount and quality of energy being distributed in the areas surrounding the substations.
This project, and Miami-Cass REMC’s involvement with it, will not result in a noticeable rate increase for cooperative members. This is because it is a part of the MISO grid, a network of transmission connections extending from Alberta to Louisiana through the mid-section of the USA. MISO absorbs the costs of this project in its overall transmission rate all utilities in its network pays. This results in an impact to rates that is measured in fractions of a penny.
Construction on the project is expected to begin in 2021 and placed in-service in the first quarter of 2022.
The project will pose no impact to endangered or critical species during the life of the project.
For questions or concerns about real estate, survey work or construction, please contact at your land agent at Emerald Energy. If you have other questions, please call (888) 997-0766 or send an email to email@example.com
Landowners will be asked to grant an easement to WVPA for the right to use a defined strip of land for the construction, operation and maintenance of the electric transmission line. Emerald Energy, on behalf of WVPA, will be working with landowners on the easement acquisition process. Emerald Energy agents will meet with landowners to discuss easement rights, compensation, survey work, damage settlements, structures, damage settlements and land restoration. If you would like to contact us, please contact your land agent at Emerald Energy.
As a part of the Project, engineering staff will design the foundation for each transmission line structure. The field data we collect will help our engineers determine the final design and structure locations, and will help to minimize impacts to cultural and biological resources during construction. The design process requires information about the soil where the structure will be located. Collecting soil information is completed using the following steps by our geotechnical field survey crews:
- Partner with our real estate team to coordinate property access.
- Gather samples from each site by digging a 4-6 inch wide hole into the ground, known as a soil boring. Soil boring areas will be filled back in after the survey.
- Review samples to determine the physical properties and layering of the soil.
- Use soil information to design each foundation and structure dimensions.
The dimensions change from landowner to landowner and you should have an exhibit for your specific property. Typically, easements are 50 feet from the centerline of the road. If you have a specific questions about your property, please contact your land agent.
When this project was engineered, we worked to determine a route that would be most efficient while also allowing for the greatest improvement in service. In balancing the goal of improved reliability and cost- efficiency in construction, we picked the best route to accomplish that task.
We take every measure to preserve trees and existing landscapes. The trees on site are considered when designing these projects. When possible, we work with the natural landscape. Trees and vegetation are the number one cause of outages, which are inconvenient and expensive when damage to power lines and equipment is sustained during a storm. Limiting the potential for vegetation to come into contact with lines is a part of the engineering process along with the operation and maintenance of the transmission line. For that reason, most vegetation, including trees and scrub brush, has to be removed in the easement. However, most of the time, we can avoid removing landscaping and flowers.
Through an exhaustive analysis, this route was chosen because it was the best possible location to get the most cost-efficient utilization of resources and benefit the most members. This route will affect the least landowners and allow for more members to receive the added reliability and voltage this project will bring to the system.
When placing power lines, road crossings are one of the most expensive and dangerous parts of construction and operation. In the engineering process, we aim to minimize road crossings as much as possible. Which side of the road a line sits along is determined, in part, by getting to the lowest number of road crossings possible. Additionally, a route sometimes has to work around areas where ROWs cannot be granted or engineering has determined line placement is not feasible.
As a transmission project, the lines will be taller than you’re used to. We do this to allow for both distribution and transmission cables to run along the same path. Transmission lines sit above distribution lines and carry a higher voltage. Rather than wood poles to hold the lines that just bring power to your homes, we will be installing steel poles that can hold these high voltage lines as well. These taller, higher voltage transmission lines carry power between substations and improve reliability and function of the overall electrical network.
Landowners, businesses, and people in the community are important to our projects’ success, from the very beginning through the end, and we are here to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have. After all, when the project is completed we will still be your neighbors.
We are a click or phone call away
Please call 724-884-7408 to speak with someone immediately about the project.
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