American Transmission Company (ATC), in an application for a certificate of authority received by the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin on Sept. 30, said that it and its corporate manager, ATC Management, are proposing the Finger Road to Canal 69-kV Rebuild Project, which involves rebuilding 55 miles of the J-10 69-kV transmission line from the Finger Road substation in Brown County to the Beardsley Street substation in Kewaunee County, and then north to the Canal substation in Door County.
The project would also correct clearance issues on the 69-kV line from the East Krok substation to the Beardsley Street substation, which would allow that line segment to be rerated, the company said.
ATC said that the project is an asset renewal driven project that is needed to improve the condition of the transmission facilities and continue reliable operation in northeastern Wisconsin. The 1951 vintage line serves seven distribution substations, ATC said, adding that the project would meet the transmission system’s long-term ampacity needs and provide operating flexibility. Furthermore, the project would correct clearance issues along the lines and install optic ground wire (OPGW) for information technology and system protection needs.
The project’s estimated cost is $61m, the company said. According to the construction schedule, a PSC order is anticipated in March 2017, with construction to begin in November 2017, and the project being in service in January 2021.
The project, which is located in the northeastern part of Wisconsin, begins at the Finger Road substation in the City of Green Bay and runs east until the Beardsley Street substation in the City of Kewaunee. The project then runs north and terminates at the Canal substation in the City of Sturgeon Bay. ATC also said that the rerate-only portion of the project is from the East Krok substation in the Town of West Kewaunee in Kewaunee County to the Beardsley Street substation in the City of Kewaunee.
The primary land use in the project vicinity are agricultural and urban, and some of the land use adjacent to the project is existing road right of way (ROW), ATC said.
The rebuild portion of the project crosses multiple waterways designed by the WDNR as areas of special natural resource interest (ASNRI) endangered, threatened or special concern waterways, the company said. There are numerous occurrences of threatened and endangered upland, wetland and aquatic species and habitat, ATC said.
The existing transmission corridor consists primarily of 80-foot- or 100-foot-wide ROWs, with some areas of lesser width, ATC said, adding that where its existing ROW is less than 80 feet, additional ROW would be acquired to obtain a total of 80 feet in width.
Further discussing the project’s need, the company said that a recent study identified that about 250 structures need replacement due to clearance issues, about 26% of the total number of wood poles. The Finger Road substation to Luxemburg substation and the Barnett substation to Algoma substation line segments need about 120 and 55 (63% and 54% of total) wood pole replacements, respectively, to comply with the electric safety code. The remaining 75 structures that need replacement due to clearance issues are distributed among other J-10 line segments, ATC added.
The company noted that no non-transmission solutions would eliminate the asset renewal needs for the J-10 line, and changing the generation dispatch is not a viable solution. The only generation in the planning study area is a wind farm, which is not directly connected to the affected substations and could not replace the J-10 line, ATC said.
Among other things, the company said that clearing/trimming of vegetation within the ROW would occur prior to construction activities as allowed by landowner agreements and permit conditions.
Noting that the project ROW crosses 179 different wetlands, of which 131 would be impacted, ATC said that the project would avoid or minimize wetland impacts to the extent practicable through the engineering design of the project, the use of particular construction techniques, and implementation of best management practices and ATC’s standard environmental protection practices.