By Sarah Doty
Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN
The electricity generated by the wind turbines near Adams will soon have a better way to travel, thanks to a 27-mile transmission upgrade between the Adams and Bolan, Iowa substations.
"It is an existing line that we are rebuilding to have a larger capacity, primarily to meet the needs of the turbines in that area," said Tom Peterson, spokesman for Independent Transmission Company Midwest.
The nine-month upgrade started on May 18, and is scheduled to finish in February 2010. It will cost nearly $20 million.
"This project is part of our continued commitment to invest in the electric transmission grid to enhance electric reliability for the region, and to support the connection of renewable resources to the grid," said ITC Midwest Executive Director Doug Collins, in a statement. "As we continue to see our demand for the renewable energy resources available in Minnesota and Iowa, our teams are busy keeping up with that demand."
The new line will transport more energy, improve its reliability and strengthen it for anticipated future growth in the area, said Collins.
ITC Midwest acquired nearly 6,800 miles of transmission lines in December 2007 from Alliant Energy's Interstate Power and Light Co. subsidiary. The lines stretch across Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and Missouri.
ITC made headlines earlier this year with the proposal of their "Green Power Express," a high-voltage power line spanning seven states, including Minnesota. The power line would move up to 12,000 megawatts of renewable energy from where it is generated to major load centers.
However, Peterson said this upgrade is not related to the "Green Power Express."
"This is a separate project that is to support wind energy in the area," he said.