Contract workers with ITC Midwest have started a project that will see 19 miles of new power lines raised between here and the Bagley substation. The first leg of the job — the five-mile stretch from Perry to Dawson — is well underway.
The purpose of the work is to upgrade ITC Midwest’s transmission lines from 34.5 kilovolt to 69 kilovolt, according to Rod Pritchard, ITC Midwest marketing and communications manager. The line from Perry to Bagley is part of nearly 6,800 miles of transmission lines in ITC Midwest’s Iowa network, he said, with voltages ranging from 34.5 kilovolt to 345 kilovolt.
“What we call the Perry-to-Bagley line was identifed as one of the lines that needed to be rebuilt as part of this overall project,” Pritchard said. He said the process began in January 2018 and has involved the Iowa Utilities Board, landowners, local government officials and the public. The Perry project is part of 640 miles of 34.5 kilovolt lines receiving an upgrade.
Perry-area residents could see workers with West Des Moines-based Wright Tree Service last week as they cut a clearing across the Raccoon River west of Perry to make room for the installation of the new power lines, which are replacing 60-year-old power lines.
The lines are being strung by MJ Electric of Iron Mountain, Mich. Some excavation and foundation work is being carried out by Eilertson Inc. of Fond du Lac, Wis. While the transmission lines are owned by ITC Midwest, some Alliant Energy distribution lines — called the “underbuild” — will eventually be attached to the same poles, Pritchard said.
He said the higher-voltage transmission lines will bring increased capacity that will be adequate to support future industrial and residential growth. The lines will also provide more backup capacity for planned and unplanned outages, and the new lines themselves are more reliable and lightning resistant.
Pritchard could not specify the cost of the Perry-to-Bagley line or the average cost per mile of the 243-mile project as a whole, but he said the Perry leg is expected to be completed about March 1, 2020.