American Transmission Company (ATC) on Dec. 6 energized its first of three Midcontinent ISO (MISO)-designated multi-value projects (MVP), the 345-kV Pleasant Prairie to Zion transmission line, which runs from Wisconsin to Illinois.
The company is projecting the final cost for the project to be $36m, an increase from the original estimate of $31.6m that was approved in 2012 by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.
The cost increase was primarily driven by final transmission line design, extended right-of-way (ROW) easement acquisition activities and associated transmission line construction activities, a company spokesperson told TransmissionHub on Dec. 9.
“It took longer to get the easements, so that strung out the construction timeline and impacted the cost,” the spokesperson said.
ATC will have a final figure in the spring after it completes restoration activities, which it began this fall. Restoration activities include removing construction matting, grading work and sod and seeding work, the spokesperson said.
The 5.3-mile line runs from the Pleasant Prairie substation in Pleasant Prairie, Wis., to the Zion Energy Center substation in Zion, Ill. The new line will improve operation of the electric system in southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois.
“The new power line relieves congestion on the existing interstate transmission system, and will provide savings to electric utilities and their customers by creating a reliable pathway to move electricity from the most efficient generators to energy markets,” Tom Dagenais, ATC major projects planning manager, said in a statement.
The MISO designated the project as one of 17 MVPs across the Midwest. Costs of the line will be allocated across the MISO region. MISO has estimated that the average utility customer in the region will see $23 in annual benefits from lowered delivered energy costs for about $11 per year in investment, according to the statement.
The other two MVP projects that ATC is working on are the La Crosse – Madison line, which the company is jointly developing with Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL), and the Dubuque – Cardinal transmission line, which it is jointly developing with ITC Midwest, a subsidiary of ITC Holdings (NYSE:ITC). The La Crosse – Madison line is scheduled to enter service in 2020 and the Dubuque – Cardinal line is scheduled to enter service in 2020.