The downtown power outage from earlier this year should be less likely to happen in the future with newly announced improvements to electric cables and underground networks.
Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) has announced a plan that will improve their infrastructure systems with $787 million in upgrades over the next seven years beginning in 2015.
The plan calls for the replacement of hundreds of miles of electric cable, the replacement of thousands of poles, “substantial improvement” of underground networks, improved line clearance to reduce the chance of power outages from trees, and new substations.
“I&M exhaustively examined our entire system to determine where replacing and updating our aging infrastructure would best enhance our ability to continue to provide reliable, affordable energy to our valued customers,” said Paul Chodak III, I&M’s President and Chief Operating Officer.
“Enhanced reliability is important not only to our existing customers but for the economic development of our communities. The availability of affordable, reliable power is key to keeping existing businesses and attracting new ones,” he said.
The new substations will be built in South Bend, Fort Wayne and Muncie. South Bend’s new substation will be located on the former Oliver Plow, which is currently a brownfield site.
The Oliver Plow substation will primarily serve the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Facility, which is planned to open in 2016 and will be the nation’s foremost research and test facility for large gas turbine engines.
I&M’s investments require regulatory approval.