FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Indiana Michigan Power plans to enhance their infrastructure system that serves over 458,000 customers in Indiana. According to a press release issued by Indiana Michigan Power, I&M’s Reliability Enhancement Program would include:
• Replacement of hundreds of miles of electric cable.
• Replacement of thousands of poles.
• Substantial improvement of metropolitan underground networks in South Bend, Fort Wayne, Elkhart and Muncie.
• An improved line clearance plan to help reduce power outages caused by trees and branches.
• Technology investments that will reduce the number of outages and speed restoration times.
• Important new substations in Fort Wayne, South Bend and Muncie
“I&M exhaustively examined our entire system to determine where replacing and updating our aging infrastructure would best enhance our ability to continue to provide reliable, affordable energy to our valued customers,” said Paul Chodak III, I&M’s President and Chief Operating Officer.
“Enhanced reliability is important not only to our existing customers but for the economic development of our communities. The availability of affordable, reliable power is key to keeping existing businesses and attracting new ones,” he said. “I&M’s Reliability Enhancement Program will not only improve reliability in the near term, but also result in a better infrastructure that will well-serve our customers for decades.”
The company is seeking regulatory approval to invest approximately $787 million in its Indiana infrastructure over the seven-year period beginning in 2015. Officials say if the plan is approved it will impact customers’ bills modestly, by a little less than 1 percent per year on average. In the meantime, a helicopter is scheduled to fly over areas of Fort Wayne south of downtown Wednesday through Saturday, October 15th – 18th as Indiana Michigan Power will be inspecting wires and I&M properties.