A public open house was held on March 16 for American Transmission Company’s proposed Wisconsin-Illinois Reliability Project, a company spokesperson told TransmissionHub on March 24.
“The dates for the next round of open houses have not yet been solidified but we’re anticipating early May,” she added.
As noted on the project’s website, components of the project include building a double-circuit 345-kV transmission line that would electrically connect to an existing line near Pleasant Prairie, Wis., and connecting the new line to the Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) transmission system through a proposed new substation on the north side of Rosecrans Road (Hwy. 173) in the Village of Wadsworth, Ill.
Depending on the route selected, the transmission line could range from three miles to five miles in length, the company said, adding that the estimated cost of the project could range from $52m to $63m.
According to the project’s schedule, route alternatives would be finalized this spring. An application to the Illinois Commerce Commission would be submitted in the summer, while an application to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin would be submitted in the fall. If approved, construction is set to begin in the spring of 2020, with the project expected to be in service that year.
Discussing the project’s need and benefits, the company said the existing transmission system cannot adequately support the growing north-south electrical flows in the region. ATC said that it is proposing the project to mitigate the potential risk of cascading outages and a widespread, regional blackout.
A new 345-kV connection between Wisconsin and Illinois would provide an alternative path to respond to the risk of overloading existing lines and to provide some operational flexibility, the company said.
The new electrical connection would create economic benefits by providing utilities with access to the regional wholesale electricity market, where they can buy and sell power when it is economic to do so for the benefit of their customers, ATC said.
ComEd is an Exelon (NYSE:EXC) company.