In a world where electricity is the lifeblood of our modern society, few companies play as critical a role as ITC Holdings Corp. (ITC) in ensuring that the lights stay on, quite literally. Founded in the early 2000s, ITC has steadily risen to prominence as a leader in high-voltage transmission grid operations. While their name may not yet be a household one, their work is nothing short of indispensable.

ITC’s history, their vital role in Muskegon, and their vision for the future, all contribute to who they are and what they do as a company. Keep reading as we uncover the electrifying story of ITC, the power behind their power, and explore their profound impact on the Muskegon community.

ITC Holdings: Then and Now

ITC Holdings Corp. is the largest independent electricity transmission company in the United States. With the purchase of high voltage transmission assets from DTE in 2003 and the purchasing of assets from Consumers Energy in 2006, ITC came into being, covering a majority of Michigan. Since then, infrastructure has emerged in seven states, with the biggest footprints being in Michigan and Iowa.

Due to its extensive reach, ITC employs representatives in each serviced territory. Nora Balgoyen, the senior area manager and representative for Muskegon, manages the west half of Michigan, from the top of The Mitten to South Haven. Her job is to connect with municipal leadership and elected officials in communities as it regards ITC’s capital projects, such as rebuilding existing lines, building new lines or substations, and providing maintenance which involves direct interaction with townships or cities. Balgoyen says that much of her job is building and maintaining relationships, so that when a city does have a project to be completed, ITC is known and involved. Part of building and retaining that network is by supporting economic development, which means supporting entities like GMED that are working to make Muskegon a better place to live and work.

When asked to describe ITC as an entity, Balgoyen says simply, “We keep the lights on.”

The Power of Muskegon

Muskegon is growing, and as it grows, so does the need for updates to make sure that the power it has is reliable. ITC has several projects in the Muskegon area focussed on rebuilding the existing infrastructure. As our society becomes more electrified, the resilience and reliability of power is crucial. This is a huge responsibility for ITC and requires working together as a community and building relationships with the movers and shakers of the city. By connecting with those community leaders and providing awareness of the infrastructure that exists, when improvements do need to be made, there is already a general understanding of what is at work.

What’s Next?

ITC will remain in Muskegon and provide continuous support in the community to ensure that as it grows and becomes stronger, so does its power. Muskegon can anticipate continued support for economic development and community organizations. Community members will see trucks and crews around the Muskegon area as growth continues, which supports the economy by hiring local workers. ITC envisions themselves as “building the grid of the future” as they respond to the demand for renewable energy. With this, ITC will follow along through Muskegon’s transitions and grow as the power demand increases.

Powerful Relationships

Understanding the needs of a community is no simple task, but ITC thrives by meeting people face-to-face and understanding what their needs are. Bolgoyen’s advice is to “always be willing to connect, keep an open mind, and help each other out.” She adds that the most powerful thing of all is the connections that you make and the relationships that you build.

Ultimately, it’s the people who truly power Muskegon, while ITC provides the necessary infrastructure.