We Energies seeks extension for submitting testimony in Wauwatosa power project

Wisconsin Electric, d/b/a We Energies, is asking the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) for a 60-day extension of the deadline to file direct testimony regarding the proposed Western Milwaukee County Electric Reliability Project (Docket No. 5-CE-139).

In a July 2 e-mail to PSC Administrative Law Judge Michael Newmark, We Energies’ legal counsel said the company was “not prepared at this time to fully present our direct testimony as we continue our discussions with Milwaukee County regarding the proposed substation issue.”

A spokesperson for the PSC told TransmissionHub on July 6 that the utility and Milwaukee County were “working out some procedural issues” with regard to the site of a proposed substation.

The deadline for filing direct testimony specified in Newmark’s prehearing conference memorandum was July 13, with a hearing set for Sept. 19.

The spokesperson said Newmark has not yet ruled on the request. If it is granted, however, the hearing date could also be delayed, the spokesperson said.

While the request originated with We Energies, the e-mail made clear that the utility had “conferred with [co-developer American Transmission Company] ATC and they support this request.”

The project consists of two 138-kV lines, each less than two miles long, which are needed to improve the reliability of the electric system that serves the rapidly growing County Grounds area of the county. The area includes the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center and the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

The PSC will determine the final routes for the two lines. ATC expects the PSC to take as long as a year to review the project application, hold public and technical hearings, and do a detailed analysis before rendering a decision.

The transmission lines and ATC substation facilities are planned to be in service by March 2015. The cost of the project is estimated at $20m to $40m.