Electricity Transmission Success Story in Michigan

Traverse City Light & Power (TCL&P) is planning to upgrade approximately three (3) miles of a transmission line near the Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan.

According to TCL&P, the line replacement will address concerns of both Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  MISO, an independent member-based organization responsible for managing the power grid across 15 states, including Michigan, and Manitoba, Canada, raised a concern that the distribution line was undersized. 

To upgrade the wires, the power poles also would need to be raised in height to approximately 80 feet, which would create runway clearance concerns at nearby Cherry Capital Airport. The solution:  bury the distribution lines. 

This will address MISO’s transmission line concern as well as the FAA concern over obstructions and hazards to airport navigation. It also could mitigate power disruptions caused from weather events impacting power lines. TCL&P is installing additional and oversized conduits to allow for future expansion and higher voltage cables, which should ensure a lifespan of many decades.

Some tree cutting will be required and TCL&P plans to replace the trees with arborvitae or other low-growing trees and bushes that are native to Michigan. The replanting will address FAA runway clearance concerns as well as add color and native species to the corridor.  The project is scheduled to begin on May 31.

The parties involved addressed an energy issue in a way that ensures reliability to customers, safety for air traffic and improved sustainability and aesthetics with Michigan trees and bushes.

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