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New electric cables will be laid in the Straits of Mackinac

"Danger electric Cables" by huskyte77 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

This summer and fall, two new electric cables will be installed in the Straits of Mackinac. 

This comes after an anchor strike damaged existing lines and caused 400 gallons of oil coolant to leak into the water several years ago. 

In 2018, a stray anchor severed some of the old electric cables in the Straits of Mackinac leaving the region supplied by only one big circuit.

Alissa Braatz is with the American Transmission Company.

She says that’s not a reliable grid.

“In the instance that something would happen to that existing line, we would need to redirect energy through the UP through a different means, and in the long term, that’s not a viable approach, that’s not how the grid works,” said Braatz.

ATC is laying two new cables to restore the system back to two circuits.

The new cables rely on solid plastic-based insulation, so if they’re ever damaged, they won’t leak.

The project is scheduled to be completed by December.