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ITC Offers Update On Thumb Loop For Wind Power

BAD AXE -- Novi-based ITC Holdings Corp. provided an update on its Thumb Loop project for local officials in an "appreciation event" attended by about 60 people Tuesday.

Gregory Ioanidis, president of the company's ITC Michigan subsidiary, said ITC is in the process of building 62 miles of new high-voltage transmission lines throughout the Thumb to move large amounts of power created by wind farms in the region.

In Tuscola County, Ioanidis said 127 of 144 large transmission poles have been erected, and 12 of 25 miles of conductor had been strung.

Things are just getting under way in Huron County, where 12 of 209 poles are up, and no high-voltage wire has yet been strung.

Completion of this phase of the Thumb Loop project is scheduled for the summer to fall of 2013, Ioanidis said. Full completion is scheduled for 2015.

The Thumb Loop will be connected to the rest of the Midwest power grid in two locations -- northeast of Frankenmuth on the Saginaw-Tuscola counties border, and in St. Clair County's Columbus Township, a few miles southwest of Port Huron.

Ioanidis said the Thumb Loop is "about a $510 million project. It's a pretty significant investment, actually the largest project in our company's history."

He said the project will result in spending about $400 million on domestic materials, about $187 million of which will be sourced in Michigan.

The lead contractor on the project is MJ Electric of Iron Mountain.

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