LS Power Announces New Transmission Project to Facilitate Renewable Energy Development in Illinois and Indiana
LS Power announced today that it is taking steps to develop the LaSalle Transmission Project (“LaSalle”), a new 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission project connecting Illinois and Indiana. The project is intended to facilitate renewable energy development within the region.
LaSalle is an approximately 160-mile transmission line proposed to connect three existing 345-kV substations operated by the PJM Regional Transmission Operator. These three substations are the Pontiac-Midpoint substation near Pontiac, Illinois; the Reynolds substation near Reynolds, Indiana; and the Dumont substation near North Liberty, Indiana. New substations may also be constructed along the transmission line to serve as points where additional wind could interconnect to the transmission system.
“LaSalle will be routed through some of the most promising areas in Illinois and Indiana for wind development – areas that currently have limited access to the high-voltage transmission system,” stated Sharon K. Segner, Director – Project Development with LS Power. “LaSalle will provide both a means for wind generation to connect to the transmission system and an outlet for the wind generation to be delivered to load.”
The project is being developed by Central Transmission, LLC, a new transmission company and member of the LS Power Group. The LS Power Group has active transmission development across the country representing over 1,000 miles of transmission planned to help deliver renewable resources to load. This includes Great Basin Transmission, a new transmission company in Idaho and Nevada developing a “shovel ready” 500+ mile 500-kV transmission line; and Cross Texas Transmission, a new transmission company in Texas developing over 200 miles of double circuit 345 kV as part of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone Transmission Plan.
PJM does not currently have a planning process in place to evaluate renewable-based transmission projects like LaSalle. In addition to renewable benefits, LaSalle also provides a means to relieve congestion in Illinois and Indiana which will result in reduced costs for customers. Central Transmission anticipates LaSalle may be approved as an “economic” transmission project and, as such, filed a proposal today with PJM to evaluate the project.
“There is a definite need for new transmission in Northern Illinois and Indiana, with a significant backlog of interconnection requests in these states,” according to Lawrence Willick, Senior Vice President with LS Power. “However, we believe that PJM will find that the benefits of the project are not just limited to the delivery of renewable energy, but also include strong economic benefits, and reliability benefits as well.”
“We look forward to working with communities, state and federal regulators, and other stakeholders to make LaSalle a reality,” Segner added, “and to bring the transmission resources necessary for additional wind generation to be built in Illinois and Indiana.”