ATC gains approval of 138-kV line, new substation in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) approved American Transmission Company’s (ATC) Spring Valley-North Lake Geneva Electric Reliability Project, a new 23-mile, 138-kV line, new substation and short 69-kV line in southeast Wisconsin, ATC said recently.

The PSC approved Proposed Route 1, the blue route, for the project, which was the preferred route of ATC, a spokesperson for ATC told TransmissionHub March 14.

An alternative route, which was about 34 miles in length, was included when ATC filed its application with the PSC in April 2015.

The project is estimated to cost $70.6m, ATC said in a March 3 statement.

The PSC approved Proposed Route 1, the blue route, for the project, which is a 23-mile transmission line from the existing North Lake Geneva substation in southern Walworth County to the existing Spring Valley substation in western Kenosha County. The project includes a new substation, the Balsam substation, to be located on the north side of County Highway 50 in Wheatland, Wis., along with a 4-mile 69-kV line that will connect the Balsam substation to the existing Twin Lakes substation in Twin Lakes, Wis., ATC said.

Construction is planned to begin in summer 2017, with an in-service date in the summer of 2019, ATC said.

During 2016 and early 2017, ATC will work on obtaining easements and project design, the ATC spokesperson said.

The project, which was announced in 2013, underwent extensive input from the public and the evaluation of more than 200 miles of route segments during the routing and siting process, ATC said. “That thorough review led to a project and decision by the PSC that will provide a significant improvement in the electric reliability of the transmission system that serves the area and supports the economic growth that’s been increasing over the last several years,” Doug Berton, ATC project manager, said in the statement.

“We will continue to work with landowners and communities as we move into the pre-construction phase of the project,” Berton said.

The project is needed because the transmission system in the area is vulnerable to low voltages and power outages and will no longer adequately support the distribution system, ATC said in a fact sheet on the project. It will also provide system redundancy and allow for maintenance outages when repairs are needed in the area, ATC said.

In its application with the PSC, ATC said that the Midcontinent ISO approved the project and included it in the Midwest Transmission Expansion Plan in 2014.

The PSC’s final order on the project is expected to be issued within the month, ATC said.