Trinity – Mt. Zion Transmission Project

Project Overview

Wabash Valley Power Alliance, a generation and transmission electric cooperative serving 23 distribution electric cooperatives in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, is hard at work improving reliability and performance of its electrical delivery system through Indiana. We’re investing in infrastructure enhancements as part of our commitment to meeting your energy needs today and preparing for the future.

The project involves WVPA constructing a new transmission line to connect the existing Trinity Substation to a new Substation, Mt. Zion Substation, both in Jay County.

Project Benefits Include

Improved electric system reliability
Improved transmission capacity
Regional and local growth in north central Indiana
New annual tax revenue to northeast Indiana to support communities in the county where the line will be located

The Trinity – Mt. Zion Project is directly aligned with our strategic goals of providing co-op members with clean, reliable and affordable energy.

Please join us at an Open House on Thursday, August 4th  anytime beginning at 4 pm until 6 pm at the Bryant Community Center located at 107 S. Malin Street in Bryant, Indiana. Representatives from the project team will be on-hand to explain the project and answer any questions you may have.

Fact Sheet & Map

Please find the Trinity – Mt. Zion Project fact sheet and map here:

Download Fact Sheet & Map

General Project FAQs

What is the Trinity - Mt. Zion Project?

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The Trinity – Mt. Zion project includes a new 69 kV (kilovolt) transmission line of approximately 5.5-mile transmission line to be built in northeast Indiana. This project will connect the Trinity Substation with the Mt. Zion Substation, a new substation being built. By linking these two substations the system will benefit from added load capacity by being able to handle more electricity as well as better reliability through redundancy (multiple feeds for each substation).

Who is involved in this project and what are their roles?

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How are transmission lines built?

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Construction primarily takes place during daylight hours, but some work may be completed after dusk. Additionally, our contractors may travel to and from the job site before dawn or after dusk. Affected landowners, who have signed an easement will be contacted in person, by phone and/or in writing at least 24 hours prior to the beginning of construction on their property.

Why is the Trinity - Mt. Zion Transmission line needed?

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This project is necessary to promote grid reliability, relieve congestion to the energy grid, and meet local energy needs. This transmission line will ultimately energize 2 substations, energy is then served to homes and businesses throughout the Jay County REMC territory. This new line will create redundancy in the grid, meaning if a transmission line loses power, energy is more able to be rerouted along a different path and restored to the end user.

What is the route?

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What will it look like?

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Although several different structure types may be used, depending on the presence of existing infrastructure and site-specific conditions, the most common conceptual design employs galvanized steel single-pole structures directly embedded into the ground or bolted onto concrete foundations and supporting a single-circuit 69kV line with intermittent underbuilds of lower voltage distribution lines. Above the circuit will be one optical ground wire (OPGW). The wire will shield the conductors from lightning and provide a path for internal as well as third party communications. Structure heights are anticipated to range between 75 and 85 feet above ground and pole-to-pole spans are anticipated to be 150-200 feet in length, dependent upon terrain and the presence of electric distribution line(s) that may be underneath the transmission line.

How does northeast Indiana benefit from this project?

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This project is expected to generate economic activity and annual tax revenues to support schools, roads, police and emergency and social services in Jay County where the lines will be located. The added capacity to the electrical grid enables new residents and users to connect to the system, bringing new tax dollars and jobs.

What is the benefit of this project for Wabash Valley Power and Jay County REMC?

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Connecting the Trinity Substation to the newly constructed Mt. Zion Substation allows for redundancy, meaning power will get restored much more quickly in the event of an outage.

What is the benefit to Jay County REMC?

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Connecting the two substations to transmission lines will provide contingency operation in the event of a transmission or substation failure. This will improve the amount and quality of energy being distributed in the areas surrounding the substations.

Will construction of the transmission line raise Jay County REMC rates?

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This project, and Jay County REMC’s involvement with it, will not result in a rate increase for cooperative members. This is because it is a part of the MISO grid, a network of transmission connections extending from Alberta to Louisiana through the mid-section of the USA. MISO absorbs the costs of this project in its overall transmission rate all utilities in its network pays. This results in an impact to rates that is measured in fractions of a penny.

When will the project begin?

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Construction on the project is expected to begin in 2024 and placed in-service in Fall of 2024.

What is the impact to any endangered or critical species in the project area?

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The project will pose no impact to endangered or critical species during the life of the project.

Who do I contact for questions about the Trinity - Mt. Zion project?

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Please join us at an Open House on Thursday, August 4th  anytime beginning at 4 pm until 6 pm at the Bryant Community Center located at 107 S. Malin Street in Bryant, Indiana. Representatives from the project team will be on-hand to explain the project and answer any questions you may have.

Additionally, you can call or email us with your questions.

  • Phone: (888) 997-0766
  • Email: mtzion@wvpa.com

 

Landowner FAQs

What happens during the real estate process?

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Landowners will be asked to grant an easement to WVPA for the right to use a defined strip of land for the construction, operation and maintenance of the electric transmission line. Emerald Energy, on behalf of WVPA, will be working with landowners on the easement acquisition process. Emerald Energy agents will meet with landowners to discuss easement rights, compensation, survey work, damage settlements, structures, damage settlements and land restoration. If you would like to contact us, please contact your land agent at Emerald Energy.

What are soil surveys?

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As a part of the Project, engineering staff will design the foundation for each transmission line structure. The field data we collect will help our engineers determine the final design and structure locations, and will help to minimize impacts to cultural and biological resources during construction. The design process requires information about the soil where the structure will be located. Collecting soil information is completed using the following steps by our geotechnical field survey crews:

  • Partner with our real estate team to coordinate property access.
  • Gather samples from each site by digging a 4-6 inch wide hole into the ground, known as a soil boring. Soil boring areas will be filled back in after the survey.
  • Review samples to determine the physical properties and layering of the soil.
  • Use soil information to design each foundation and structure dimensions.

How much of my yard will be impacted?

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The dimensions change from landowner to landowner and you should have an exhibit for your specific property. Typically, easements are 50 feet from the centerline of the road. If you have a specific questions about your property, please contact your land agent.

Why my yard?

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When this project was engineered, we worked to determine a route that would be most efficient while also allowing for the greatest improvement in service. In balancing the goal of improved reliability and cost- efficiency in construction, we picked the best route to accomplish that task.

What happens to my trees?

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We take every measure to preserve trees and existing landscapes. The trees on site are considered when designing these projects. When possible, we work with the natural landscape. Trees and vegetation are the number one cause of outages, which are inconvenient and expensive when damage to power lines and equipment is sustained during a storm. Limiting the potential for vegetation to come into contact with lines is a part of the engineering process along with the operation and maintenance of the transmission line. For that reason, most vegetation, including trees and scrub brush, has to be removed in the easement. However, most of the time, we can avoid removing landscaping and flowers.

Why this particular route?

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Through an exhaustive analysis, this route was chosen because it was the best possible location to get the most cost-efficient utilization of resources and benefit the most members.  This route will affect the least landowners and allow for more members to receive the added reliability and voltage this project will bring to the system.

Why not across the road?

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When placing power lines, road crossings are one of the most expensive and dangerous parts of construction and operation. In the engineering process, we aim to minimize road crossings as much as possible. Which side of the road a line sits along is determined, in part, by getting to the lowest number of road crossings possible. Additionally, a route sometimes has to work around areas where ROWs cannot be granted or engineering has determined line placement is not feasible.

What will the poles look like?

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As a transmission project, the lines will be taller than you’re used to. We do this to allow for both distribution and transmission cables to run along the same path. Transmission lines sit above distribution lines and carry a higher voltage. Rather than wood poles to hold the lines that just bring power to your homes, we will be installing steel poles that can hold these high voltage lines as well.  These taller, higher voltage transmission lines carry power between substations and improve reliability and function of the overall electrical network.