Ameren Illinois proposes to construct a new, approximately 10-mile 138,000 volt transmission line to improve energy reliability to local customers. The new line will connect the existing McLean County Substation and the upgrade Normal East Substation located near Normal, Illinois. The new line and associated facilities are needed for Ameren Illinois to improve energy reliability and to support continued growth in the area. The McLean County Reliability Project is proposed to be in service by December 2020.
What are the local benefits of the McLean County Reliability Project?
The Project will reduce transmission congestion and improve energy reliability. Through this Project, Ameren Illinois customers will have improved system reliability and support for continued area growth.
Where is the energy going that will be carried on the new line?
Transmission lines are similar to the interstate highway system in the way they will allow energy from generators to travel short or long distances, as needed, at any given moment.
How much will this Project cost?
This transmission line is currently estimated to cost $21 million to build. This excludes the cost to design and construct the expand the McLean County Substation and upgrade Normal East Substation.
How did you determine the final proposed routes?
Ameren Illinois developed final proposed routes for the Mclean County Reliability Project in a methodical and collaborative manner, working with landowners, community officials and agencies in order to develop constructible routes that minimize impacts. Preliminary routes were presented and reviewed over a series of open houses in August, November and December 2017. Ameren Illinois gathered and reviewed opportunities, sensitivities, technical guidelines, statutory requirements, and stakeholder input prior to filing proposed routes with the Illinois Commerce Commission.
When will a route be selected?
On October 10, 2018 the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approved a route and issued a Certificate for the McLean County Reliability Project. The ICC has selected the orange route with a minor modification displayed on the map available here. For more information on the ICC's decision, visit icc.illinois.gov/docket and enter “18-0455” in the search box.
When will I be notified if my property is impacted by the Approved Route?
In December 2018, Ameren Illinois representatives will begin reaching out to landowners along the approved ICC route. Letters will be mailed to landowners requesting a meeting to discuss project details, which will include property rights needed, proposed easement location, compensation and property access.
What will the structures looks like?
Single shaft steel pole structures will be used for the Project. Typically, the structures will be self-supported and will not use guy wires or anchors. The average distance between structures is approximately 700 feet or about 7 – 8 structures per mile. The structures are expected to be between 75-130 feet tall.
What happens during the real estate process?
Landowners with property along the approved route will be asked to grant a 100-foot-wide easement to Ameren Illinois for the right to use a defined strip of land for the construction, operation and maintenance of the electric transmission line. Salem Group land agents, on behalf of Ameren Illinois, will be working with landowners on the easement acquisition process. Salem Group land agents will meet with landowners to discuss survey work, access, easement rights, compensation, structures, construction and land restoration.
What activities occur on property before the construction process?
Before construction can begin, Ameren Illinois will request permission from landowners to access each property to survey for legal boundary, depth of foundation and environmental sensitivities. These preconstruction activities are necessary to ensure sound design and planning of the project and help us address and understand any concerns or unique property features that may be present.
What are soil surveys?
To properly design each transmission line structure, our engineers need information about the soil where the structures will be located. The soil data we gather will help our engineers determine the final design and structure locations, and help to minimize impacts to cultural and biological resources during construction.
The collection of soil information is completed using the following steps by our project team:
Partner with our real estate team Salem Group to request property access.
Gather samples by our geotechnical field crews from site location by digging a 4-6 inch wide hole into the ground, known as a soil boring. Soil boring areas will be back-filled in after the survey.
Review the soil samples to determine the physical properties and layering of the soil.
Use the soil information collected to design each foundation and structure dimensions.