ITC Transmission says the Thumb Loop high-voltage transmission project is complete with the energization of the third and final phase of the project. ITC invested an estimated $510 million to build the 345 kV line, which serves as the backbone of a system designed to meet the identified maximum wind energy potential of Michigan's Thumb region.
‘Conceiving and completing the Thumb Loop project demonstrates the value of forward-thinking, collaborative planning between the state and key stakeholders,’ says Joseph L. Welch, chairman, president and CEO of ITC Holdings Corp. ‘It's a prime example of the effectiveness of ITC's planning process, which identified the transmission needed to facilitate Michigan's renewable energy goals while also strengthening the regional transmission grid. This project brings an increase in transmission system capacity and reliability while providing more efficient transmission of renewable energy.’
During the construction phase of the Thumb Loop, ITC estimates the project had a direct impact of $366 million to the Michigan economy, including employment of local contractors, vendors and suppliers. The Thumb-area economy benefited from the demand for supplies and services such as concrete, hardware, fuel, gravel and trucking, as well as food, lodging and other personal needs for construction crews.