ATC seeks permission to rebuild 58 miles of Wisconsin transmission

American Transmission Company (ATC) is seeking permission from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) to rebuild 58 miles of existing 138-kV transmission lines that cross portions of four southeastern Wisconsin counties (Docket No. 137-CE-165).

The company filed an application Feb. 28 seeking a certificate of authority from the PSCW for the Waukesha-Concord-St. Lawrence rebuild project. Simultaneously, ATC filed a utility permit application with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), as the company anticipates a number of DNR authorizations will be required for the project.

ATC is seeking permission to rebuild the transmission lines that currently stretch from the Waukesha substation in Waukesha, Wis., through Jefferson and Dodge counties to the St. Lawrence substation in the town of Slinger, Wis. A majority of the conductors and support structures were build in the 1940s and 1950s, and are approaching the end of their useful life, an ATC spokesperson told TransmissionHub on March 6.

Proposed upgrades include replacing most of the aging lattice and H-frame structures with single poles and new H-frame structures along the line’s 58-mile route, including the removal and replacement of as many as 53 structures that are currently sited in wetlands.

New aluminum conductor, steel reinforced (ACSR) conductors and fiber optic ground wires will be installed along 35 miles of the project’s length, while 23 miles of existing conductor will be retained and moved to new structures. The fiber optic ground wires will provide high-speed data transfer and support electric system operations, as well as shielding the phase conductors from lightning strikes.

No new right-of-way will be needed for the project, ATC said.

Although the company noted that the rebuild “will not significantly affect the quality of the human environment,” ATC provided with its application the information necessary for the preparation of an environmental assessment if the PSCW determined such an assessment to be necessary.

The rebuilt line will help meet current and future electricity loads, support the safe and reliable operation of the electric system, and improve system reliability in the four counties, the spokesperson said.

ATC anticipates regulatory approval this spring and the start of construction in the summer of 2014, according to the company’s application. The estimated cost of the project is $59.6m and the targeted in-service date is spring 2017.