MISO approves critical portions of ATC’s Bay Lake project

The Midwest ISO (MISO) on Aug. 23 approved a portion of American Transmission Company‘s Bay Lake project in an out-of-cycle request.) (Wisc. Docket No. 137-CE-166). 

“The MISO approval was an out-of-cycle request, so instead of considering the project components in the regular transmission expansion planning cycle they looked at some of the critical components,” an ATC spokesperson told TransmissionHub Aug. 24.

MISO approved critical components of the Bay Lake project, including 40 miles of 345-kV line from Green Bay, Wis., to the Morgan substation near Oconto Falls, Wis., along with the new Green Bay area substation; the 138-kV line in that same corridor; and 65 miles of 138-kV line from the Holmes substation in Menominee County, Mich., to the Old Mead Road substation in Escanaba, Mich. 

MISO estimates the cost of the approved portion to be $280m.

Given the partial approval, it is likely the rest of the Bay Lake project will be evaluated piecemeal, the spokesperson said. MISO in September is expected to initiate a study look at transmission issues and proposed solutions in its northern footprint, including Manitoba, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Some components of Bay Lake are included in that study, she said.

Any other portion of Bay Lake will have to go through a regional approval process and then will seek state commission approvals to build in Wisconsin and Michigan, she said.

“We are making some adjustments and adjusting our plans accordingly,” the spokesperson said.

ATC has narrowed three to six potential corridors for the project to 300 feet to 600 feet from 3,000 feet. The final corridor is expected to be 100-150 feet, she said, with some “pinch points” that would have to be wider.

The company is evaluating the total mileage and cost of the approved portions and will have more information next week, the spokesperson said. The company will hold open houses in the first two weeks of October to seek further input on its preliminary route.

Previously, ATC estimated preliminary costs for the facilities to be between $470m and $705m for the 345-kV projects and between $125m and $190m for the 138-kV projects.

Bay Lake was proposed to meet reliability needs in northern Wisconsin and in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

About Rosy Lum 525 Articles
Rosy Lum, Analyst for TransmissionHub, has been covering the U.S. energy industry since 2007. She began her career in energy journalism at SNL Financial, for which she established a New York news desk. She covered topics ranging from energy finance and renewable policies and incentives, to master limited partnerships and ETFs. Thereafter, she honed her energy and utility focus at the Financial Times' dealReporter, where she covered and broke oil and gas and utility mergers and acquisitions.