February 9, 2009 / 6:39 PM / 9 years ago

ITC proposes project to move wind power to Chicago

NEW YORK (Reuters) - ITC Holdings Corp on Monday proposed to build a $10 billion to $12 billion power transmission network to move up to 12,000 megawatts of electricity from wind-abundant areas in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa to the heavily populated Chicago area.

In a release, ITC said the proposed “Green Power Express” network would facilitate the development of wind power projects by moving that clean generation to areas in need of additional renewable energy.

“The Green Power Express will create the much-needed link between the renewable energy-rich regions of the Midwest and high-demand population centers,” Joseph Welch, chairman, president and CEO of ITC, said in the release.

The power grid operators in the eastern part of the United States said in a report Wednesday the region would need to spend about $80 billion for new transmission infrastructure to increase the amount of energy from wind power to about 20 percent over the next 15 years.

The Green Power Express will cross parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana and will ultimately include about 3,000 miles of extra high-voltage (765-kilovolt) transmission.

ITC filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeking approval of a revenue requirement formula and incentives including recovery of development expenses.

ITC said it was partnering with several local utilities and wind developers on the project, including NorthWestern Corp, FPL Group Inc’s NextEra Energy (formerly FPL Energy) and Iberdrola Renovables SA.

ITC, of Novi, Michigan, operates the high-voltage power system in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and portions of Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and Missouri, and is developing projects in the Great Plains, the Texas Panhandle and elsewhere.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by John Picinich

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