General Project FAQs
What is the Jackson Heritage Montclair Transmission Project?
The Jackson Township – Heritage Lake – Montclair Transmission project includes building a new substation called Jackson Substation in Putnam County and connecting the new substation to the grid by constructing two new 69kV transmission lines known as the North Line and South Line. The North Line will extend 6.8 miles from the existing Montclair 69kV substation in Hendricks County to the new Jackson Township substation and the South Line will extend 8.4 miles from the existing Heritage Lake 69kV Substation in Putnam County to the new Jackson Township substation. By linking these three substations the system will benefit from added load capacity (able to handle more electricity) as well as better reliability through redundancy (multiple feeds for each substation)
Who is involved in this project and what are their roles?
- Wabash Valley Power Alliance – Project owner
- Hendricks Power – Your local electric cooperative and a member of WVPA
- ORC Utility & Infrastructure Land Services, LLC – Easement acquisition agent
- Commonwealth Associates – Engineering contractor
How are transmission lines built?
Construction primarily takes place during daylight hours, but some work may be completed after dusk. Additionally, our contractors may travel to and from the job site before dawn or after dusk. Affected landowners, who have signed an easement will be contacted in person, by phone and/or in writing at least 24 hours prior to the beginning of construction on their property.
Why is the Jackson Heritage Montclair Transmission line needed?
This project is necessary to promote grid reliability; relieve congestion to the energy grid; and meet local energy needs. This transmission line will ultimately energize 3 substations, energy is then served to homes and businesses throughout the Hendricks Power territory. This new line will create redundancy in the grid, meaning if a transmission line loses power, energy is more able to be rerouted along a different path and restored to the end user.
What is the route?
- The North Line is approximately 6.8 miles long and crosses Eel River and Marion township in Hendricks County and Jackson Township in Putnam County.
- The South Line is 8.4 miles is approximately 8.4 miles long and crosses Floyd and Jackson townships in Putnam County and Marion Township in Hendricks County.
What will it look like?
Although several different structure types may be used, depending on the presence of existing infrastructure and site-specific conditions, the most common conceptual design employs galvanized steel single-pole structures directly embedded into the ground or bolted onto concrete foundations and supporting a single-circuit 69kV line with intermittent underbuilds of lower voltage distribution lines. Above the circuit will be one optical ground wire (OPGW). The wire will shield the conductors from lightning and provide a path for internal as well as third party communications. Structure heights are anticipated to range between 60 and 90 feet above ground and pole-to-pole spans are anticipated to be 200-300 feet in length, dependent upon terrain and the presence of electric distribution line(s) that may be underneath the transmission line.
How does central Indiana benefit from this project?
This project is expected to generate economic activity and annual tax revenues to support schools, roads, police and emergency and social services in Putnam and Hendricks counties where the lines will be located. The added capacity to the electrical grid enables new residents and users to connect to the system, bringing new tax dollars and jobs.
What is the benefit of this project for Wabash Valley Power and Hendricks Power?
Connecting the new state-of-art Jackson Township Substation to the existing Heritage Lakes and Montclair substations allows for redundancy, meaning power will get restored much more quickly in the event of an outage.
Why is Wabash Valley Power Alliance building the new Substation?
As communities grow and new sources of energy are developed, substations are built to meet the increased energy demand and expand the system’s ability to handle more energy. After energy is generated at a power plant, it is sent to substations by way of transmission lines. The substations then lower the voltage level so that the electricity can be transported to area homes and businesses through distribution power lines.
What is the benefit to Hendricks Power?
With the construction of the new Jackson Township Substation and connections to the North and South transmission lines, it will provide contingency operation in the event of a transmission or substation failure. This will improve the amount and quality of energy being distributed in the areas surrounding the substations.
Will construction of the transmission line and substation raise Hendricks Power rates?
This project, and Hendricks Power’s involvement with it, will not result in a noticeable rate increase for cooperative members. This is because it is a part of the MISO grid, a network of transmission connections extending from Alberta to Louisiana through the mid-section of the USA. MISO absorbs the costs of this project in its overall transmission rate all utilities in its network pays. This results in an impact to rates that is measured in fractions of a penny.
When will the project begin?
The project is expected to begin in the second half of 2020 and placed in-service in September of 2021.
What is the impact to any endangered or critical species in the project area?
The project will pose no impact to endangered or critical species during the life of the project.
Who do I contact for construction questions or concerns about the Jackson Heritage Monclair Transmission Project?
For questions or concerns about real estate, survey work or construction, please contact at your land agent at ORC Utility and Infrastructure Land Services. If you have questions specifically for Hendricks Power, please call Mike Good at 317-745-5473.
What happens during the real estate process?
Landowners will be asked to grant an easement to WVPA for the right to use a defined strip of land for the construction, operation and maintenance of the electric transmission line. ORC Utility & Infrastructure Land Services, LLC agents, on behalf of WVPA, will be working with landowners on the easement acquisition process. ORC Utility & Infrastructure Land Services agents will meet with landowners to discuss easement rights, compensation, survey work, damage settlements, structures, damage settlements and land restoration. If you would like to contact us, please contact your land agent at ORC Utility and Infrastructure Land Services.
What are soil surveys?
As a part of the Project, engineering staff will design the foundation for each transmission line structure. The field data we collect will help our engineers determine the final design and structure locations, and will help to minimize impacts to cultural and biological resources during construction. The design process requires information about the soil where the structure will be located. Collecting soil information is completed using the following steps by our geotechnical field survey crews:
- Partner with our real estate team to coordinate property access.
- Gather samples from each site by digging a 4-6 inch wide hole into the ground, known as a soil boring. Soil boring areas will be filled back in after the survey.
- Review samples to determine the physical properties and layering of the soil.
- Use soil information to design each foundation and structure dimensions.
Why was nothing about Hendricks Power mentioned in the acquisition letter?
This project, while benefiting Hendricks Power, is actually being constructed by Wabash Valley Power Alliance, the power supplier to Hendricks Power. Hendricks Power members are the ultimate beneficiary of this new line, with improved reliability and a more robust grid.
Why do I need to accept or reject the acquisition letter w/in 30 days – why does it need to be notarized?
Before this new line can be placed into service, the right of way must be secured along the route of the new line. In order to maintain a scheduled in-service date, ROW acquisitions must be made in a timely fashion. If for some reason you do not accept the acquisition, the utility may begin the process of condemnation, which is explained in the Uniform Offer Letter Notarizing the document demonstrates that a public notary has witnessed the lawful and willing acceptance of this document, many county clerks offices have notaries and a number of businesses like UPS and Fedex have notary services available to the public and each land agent is notary as well.
How much of my yard will it take out?
Depending on the location, WVPA will need X feet to Y feet of space measured from the center of the road to place poles and run lines. When designing projects we work to minimize the impact and inconvenience to land owners. We understand there needs to be a balance between improving the system and inconveniencing resident’s lives and enjoyment of their property, we attempt to be as efficient as reasonably possible when engineering these projects.
Why my yard?
When this project was engineered, we worked to determine a route that would be most efficient while also allowing for the greatest improvement in service. In balancing the goal of improved reliability and cost efficiency in construction we picked the best route to accomplish that task.
What happens to my trees?
We take every measure to preserve trees and existing landscapes, from time to time a situation arises where a tree has to be removed. The loss of trees on site is considered when designing these projects and to the extent possible, we work with the landscape. Trees and vegetation are, however, the number one cause of outages which are not only inconvenient, but expensive when damage to power lines and equipment is sustained in storms, limiting the potential for vegetation to come into contact with lines is a part of the engineering process as well as the operations and maintenance of the transmission line.
Why this particular route?
Through an exhaustive analysis this route was chosen because it was the best possible location to get the most cost efficient utilization of resources and benefit the most members. This route will affect the least land owners and allow for more members to receive the added reliability and voltage this project will bring to the system.
Why not across the road?
When placing powerlines road crossings are one of the most expensive and dangerous parts of construction and operation. In the engineering process we aim to minimize road crossings as much as possible and which side of the road a line sits along is determined, in part, by getting to the lowest number of road crossings possible. Additionally, a route sometimes has to work around areas where ROWs cannot be granted or engineering has determined line placement is not feasible.
What will the poles look like?
As a transmission project the lines will be taller than you’re used to, we do this to allow for both distribution and transmission cables to run along the same path. Transmission lines sit above distribution lines and carry a higher voltage. Rather than wood poles to hold the lines that just bring power to your homes, we will be installing steel poles that can hold these high voltage lines as well. These taller, higher voltage transmission lines carry power between substations and improve reliability and function of the overall electrical network.