On November 1, 2010, Exelon Corporation (“Exelon”), American Electric Power (“AEP”), and Electric Transmission American (“ETA”) announced the companies will partner to build a new transmission line dubbed the Reliability Interregional Transmission Extension (“RITE Line”).  The new project will construct 420 miles of extra high-voltage lines from Illinois to the border between Indiana and Ohio. 

The project was first released when AEP, Exelon, MidAmerican Energy Holding Company (“MidAmerican”) signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the RITE Line.  ETA is a joint venture between AEP and MidAmerican.  The $1.6 billion project will develop the 768-kV line, and the project is the direct result of ETA’s 20-year transmission study entitled the SMARTransmission Study.  Exelon is expected to pay for $1.2 billion of the RITE Line, and AEP’s costs are expected to be around $360 million; however, more participants may be added as the RITE Line progresses.

Project sponsors state that they expect that the entire project could be completed in stages from 2015 to 2018, pending various state and federal regulatory approvals.  The new line has the potential to help states meet their renewable portfolio standards (“RPS”) particularly by connecting Midwest wind resources to the grid.  Although Indiana lacks an RPS, Illinois currently requires 25 percent of their power to come from renewable resources by 2025.
A link to Exelon’s news release on the new line is available here.