PSCW approves adjustment to final segment of Rockdale-West Middleton line

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) on Aug. 22 approved American Transmission Company’s (ATC) request for a route adjustment to one of the last segments of the 345-kV Rockdale to West Middleton transmission project (Docket 137-CE-147).

The company requested permission to revise the alignment of the Segment D right-of-way because a road construction project by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation was encroaching on one of the power line’s segments, a PSCW spokesperson told TransmissionHub.

Work on Segment D started in June.

Permission from the PSCW was required because the commission specified the route in its June 2009 order approving the project, the PSCW spokesperson said.

In the original order, the PSCW said it selected four segments from “hundreds of route segments” evaluated by ATC covering more than 600 miles of potential right-of-way for the 32-mile project. The selected segments – A, B, H, and O – are now referred to by ATC as segments A, B, C, and D for simplicity.

Project developers can request minor route adjustments (MRAs) as projects proceed but, to be considered “minor,” those adjustments cannot affect new landowners, nor can they have any new environmental impacts, the spokesperson said. MRAs can be approved by PSCW staff and do not have to be approved by the commission unless staff determines commission action to be the more appropriate course of action.

The realignment, though “extremely minor” in scope, crosses commercial properties owned by two separate landowners whose land had not been crossed by the route as originally approved, an ATC spokesperson told TransmissionHub. Accordingly, a supplemental order by the commission was required.

The decision contained in the Aug. 22 supplemental order amends the final decision on the project and authorizes ATC to modify the alignment of the approved transmission route through the two properties as proposed. The supplemental order is effective one day after the day of mailing.

In a quarterly progress report to the PSCW on May 22, the company said the planned in-service date has been moved up to early 2013 from the original in-service date of the summer of 2013. The adjustments are not expected to affect that schedule, the ATC spokesperson said.