Ameren Transmission Co. of Illinois has selected a final route for the Mark Twain Transmission Project, a 345,000-V transmission line and substation to be built in northeast Missouri. The approximately 100-mile route, which will be nearly 100 percent co-located on existing right of way, has received assents from the commissions of the five counties in which the line will be located. ATXI now must obtain final approval from the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) before commencing construction.
The route will run through Adair, Knox, Lewis, Marion and Schuyler counties and includes construction of the Zachary Substation adjacent to the existing Adair Substation in Adair County. Specifically, the route will co-locate on existing right of way on Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative's 161,000-V line between Palmyra and Kirksville and Ameren Missouri's 161,000-volt line from Kirksville to the Iowa border.
"The final route was selected based on feedback from landowners and community members during the past several months," said Shawn E. Schukar, chairman and president of ATXI. "We are grateful to those who took the time to share their opinions and preferences with us, and we look forward to working together with Northeast Power and Ameren Missouri as we move forward with this important project for northeast Missouri."
As part of the project, approximately 59 miles of Northeast Power's 161,000-V transmission line – running between Palmyra and Kirksville – will be completely rebuilt. ATXI will remove the current wooden H-frame transmission facilities and replace them with new steel structures, the vast majority of which will be monopole in design. ATXI will pay for the poles, insulators and hardware.
"Due to the age of Northeast Power's current 161,000-V line, it would need to be replaced within 10 to 15 years at a cost of approximately $30 million," said Douglas Aeilts, CEO and general manager, Northeast Power. "Working with ATXI on this co-location project allows Northeast Power to save a significant amount of money while enhancing the reliability of our transmission system. Northeast Power is committed to providing our member-distribution cooperatives with safe, affordable, reliable electricity and value-added services. Our involvement in this project is consistent with that promise."
In addition, ATXI will rebuild Ameren Missouri's line between Kirksville and the Iowa border. Landowners living along the existing Northeast Power and Ameren Missouri lines will benefit from less burden on farmland – due to the reduced number of poles and the elimination of guy wires and anchors – and new easement payments.
ATXI expects to invest approximately $250 million in this project, which is scheduled to be placed in-service in December 2019.
In mid-September, ATXI will file for a certificate of convenience and necessity with the Missouri Public Service Commission for the Mark Twain Transmission Project. ATXI hopes to receive an order of approval from the PSC in the first quarter 2018.