Despite law judges’ recent recommendation of a denial, the Illinois Commerce Commission announced Oct. 22 that it has approved ComEd’s Grand Prairie Gateway Project, a new transmission line that will extend for 60 miles across Kane County, as well as Ogle, DeKalb and DuPage counties.
According to a press release on BusinessWire.com, construction is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of next year, and the line is expected to be in service in 2017.
The 345,000 volt electric transmission line will be constructed between ComEd’s existing substations near the communities of Byron and Wayne. The route would begin at the Byron substation and run east until east of Plato Center in Kane County, where the line would run southeast along railroad corridors to the substation near Wayne.
The $251 million project requires installation of about 400 metal power towers along the 60 miles of rights of way. Each steel tower is about 165 feet tall with four steel cross arms and a maximum width of 52 feet, according to an article in The Courier-News.
The project adds a third major transmission path across the ComEd territory.
Kane County, the Kane County Forest Preserve District and many other units of local government along Grand Prairie Gateway’s path — including the city of Elgin, the village of South Elgin, School District U-46, the village of Burlington, the city of Sycamore and Ogle County — as well as individuals, businesses and homeowner associations have protested construction in the proposed pathway.
Opponents have expressed concerns about the impact of power lines running through forest preserves and farms. Some residents have said they are worried that the electric and magnetic fields might cause health problems.
In September, a group of administrative law judges recommended that the ICC deny a certificate for the Grand Prairie Gateway Project, saying ComEd had “not provided evidence that the GPG Project is necessary to provide adequate and efficient service or that it would increase reliability.”
ComEd argued that the project would result in customer savings and reduce grid congestion.
“We’re obligated to solve that problem,” said Terence Donnelly, ComEd executive vice president and COO. “We are pleased that the commission has recognized the need for this important new line, which will offset those increases just as soon as it’s energized.”
- The Courier-News: ComEd’s Grand Prairie Gateway Project approved by ICC
- Daily Herald: Kane officials oppose ComEd’s proposed power line path
- Daily Herald: Residents sound off on ComEd’s Grand Prairie power line
- Commonwealth Edison presentation to Kane County
- Public Comment on the Illinois Commerce Commission e-Docket
- Voltage: 345kV
- Approximate Length: 60 miles
- Project Fact Sheet (pdf)