A map of the final route from NIPSCO, the project's developer. For a more detailed map, visit here.
The Reynolds-Topeka transmission line is a project in northern Indiana intended to improve the grid and provide added access for renewable energy. The line is one of 17 MISO projects across the Midwest, and will benefit customers by providing low-cost electricity and improving reliability of service in the area.
The 100 mile line will run from a NIPSCO substation at Reynolds, to the Burr Oak substation, and to the Hiple substation near Topeka. The developer is in the study phase, so a suggested route is not yet available, although the study area is available. Updates will follow as potential routes are proposed by NIPSCO.
In the winter of 2012, NIPSCO identified a study area for identifying potential routes and alternatives. After performing environmental impact studies, speaking with state and federal regulatory agencies, and gathering input from landowners; NIPSCO will provide possible routes for review. NIPSCO held the first round of open houses for the line in February 2013, and will use information gathered at the meetings to inform their decision on routing. This process is expected to span from February 2013 to June 2013.
NIPSCO plans to hold a second round of public meetings in July 2013 so landowners and stakeholders can review potential routes. The final route will likely be selected in late 2013, followed by permitting. This process is expected to span into 2014, and during the permitting stage NIPSCO will begin to purchase right-of-way for construction of the line. Construction will begin in 2015, and the expected in-service date for the line is 2018.
Once NIPSCO has decided on potential routes, it will seek approval from state and federal regulators. Cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission can sometimes take between 12 and 18 months to complete, depending on the complexity of the certification process.
NIPSCO received approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved the project in mid-February of 2014. Construction of the project could begin in late spring or summer of 2014.
NIPSCO held the first round of open houses for the line in February of 2013, and is planning to hold the second round in July 2013.
Concerns at the first round of meetings primarily revolved around agriculture, specifically the effect that the line could have on irrigation systems.
NIPSCO has also stated that they will not follow existing power lines in all areas, as powerful storms could potentially take out all the power lines in these areas at the same time.
At meetings hosted by the Marshall County Farm Bureau in December 2013, landowners noted that they were concerned about ensuring fair compensation, and about the current state of eminent domain laws in Indiana. There is also the issue of permanent irrigation structures, and the effect that the lines could have on aerial spraying of crops.
Clean Energy Potential:
The developers notes that the line will provide new access for renewable energy sources like wind and solar in the state, and potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state.
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We all know that clean energy transmission is vitally important to our energy future. It brings economic opportunity to rural areas, enables wind development and improves the reliability of your grid. But to build it properly - to create projects that work best for you and your community - requires your knowledge and participation. That's why we've created this database.