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Indiana Michigan Power offers $146M plan to strengthen grid in 3 Mich. counties

Indiana Michigan Power Co. is investing $146 million to ensure the reliability of the electric transmission system for customers in Van Buren, Berrien and Cass counties in Michigan.

The utility, an American Electric Power Co. Inc. subsidiary, said in a June 8 news release that the regional grid operator, the PJM Interconnection, determined that the area's power grid needed improvements in reducing outages and cutting down the time to restore service.

Under I&M Power's planned Valley Area Improvements Program, construction of new transmission and related facilities will start in the fall of 2018, with a target completion date of spring 2021.

Upgrades in the West Valley area will comprise of rebuilding roughly 25 miles of a 69-kV line, replacing wood poles with new steel monopoles and installing new wires. Meanwhile, upgrades in the East Valley area will include reconstructing about 17 miles of a 69-kV line, upgrading about 5 miles of a 34.5-kV line to a 69-kV line, and upgrading about 12 miles of single-circuit 69-kV line to double-circuit 69-kV/138-kV line.