Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC (METC), a subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp., yesterday completed its full operational separation from Consumers Energy, the former owners of the electric transmission system in the western and northern portions of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Acquired by ITC in October 2006, METC was already in the process of becoming operationally independent within five years from when Consumers Energy sold the transmission assets to Trans-Elect, Inc., in May 2002.

"This transition marks a major milestone for both METC and ITC," said Joseph L. Welch, president and CEO of ITC. "Becoming fully independent from market participants is a very significant step as we continue in our endeavor to improve the electric transmission system in Michigan."

Since the closing of the METC acquisition, ITC has been focused on completing METC's transition to operational independence and integrating METC into the ITC organization. In recent months, METC field contractors and operations staff have completed intensive training and simulated operations to ensure a smooth transition. Just after midnight today, METC took over operational control of the METC transmission system from Consumers Energy.

ITC anticipates that METC will make approximately $25 million of system improvements in 2007 to advance electric reliability. With this and future system improvements, approximately 200 highly-skilled field contractors will be needed for the METC service territory.

"I applaud the dedication, hard-work and determination of our employees, contractors and Consumers Energy who helped make this transition achievable," said Welch. "METC's singular focus on transmission will benefit customers and end-use consumers in the form of improved reliability, more robust infrastructure and a more competitive energy market."