Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois has completed and energized the Spoon River Transmission Project, a 44-mile, 345,000-V transmission line spanning between Galesburg and Peoria in Illinois.
The Spoon River Transmission Project will provide local and regional benefits, including improved energy-grid reliability, increased transmission capacity and greater access to lower-cost energy, including renewable sources such as wind. The project helps support the State of Illinois' Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, which targets 25 percent of Illinois' energy generation to come from renewable sources by 2025-2026.
"We are grateful for the feedback and cooperation we received from landowners, communities and the Illinois Commerce Commission," said Shawn E. Schukar, chairman and president of ATXI. "This kind of collaboration, combined with the strong relationship we have with our contract partners, allowed us to successfully complete the project so we can deliver the benefits of the Spoon River project for generations to come."
The $130-million project, which included construction of two new substations, was completed under budget and nine months ahead of schedule due to efficient project execution that included the use of helicopters to install the transmission line. Helicopters increase the efficiency of construction when compared to conventional methods, and they also lower the environmental impact to farmland because fewer pieces of heavy equipment are required on the transmission rights of way.
"The speed and efficiency with which this line was developed can be attributed to the ongoing collaboration we had with community members," Schukar said. "Because of this input and support, our contract partners were able to quickly move forward on key construction phases, meet crucial deadlines and now energize this important infrastructure project that bolsters the energy grid."
The Spoon River Transmission Project was approved in 2011 by the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO), a regional transmission organization. The Spoon River project is part of a coordinated, multi-state group of transmission projects – known as Multi-Value Projects – being developed by MISO to improve and strengthen the regional energy grid. This is the first of three ATXI Multi-Value Projects to be completed; two other ATXI Multi-Value Projects are currently underway in Missouri and Illinois