ITC Holdings, a US-based electricity transmissions company, this week announced it is working to develop a 12,000-megawatt transmission line network to bring clean energy from wind-driven sources in the Midwest to large population centers like Chicago and Minneapolis.
The so-called “Green Power Express” will add about 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers) of high-voltage transmission lines across parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. The project carries an estimated pricetag of $10 billion to $12 billion (£6.76 billion to £8.12 billion).
The announcement comes after nearly a year of studies, stockholder discussions and development efforts, according to Joseph L. Welch, chairman, president and CEO of ITC.
“The Green Power Express will create the much-needed link between the renewable energy-rich regions of the Midwest and high-demand population centers,” Welch said. The project, he added, “is in many ways the true definition of a ‘smart grid.’ According to a study by CRA International, efficient movement of up to 12,000 megawatts of wind power through the Green Power Express would result in a reduction of up to 34 million metric tons in carbon emissions, which is equivalent to the annual emissions of about seven to nine 600-megawatt coal plants, or nine to eleven million automobiles.”
As part of the project, a newly created limited partnership of ITC — Green Power Express LP — has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking approval for a revenue requirement formula to help finance development.