ATC’s request for one-year extension to begin construction on 138-kV project granted in Wisconsin

American Transmission Company’s (ATC) request for a one-year extension to begin construction on rebuilding existing 138-kV electric transmission line and substation facilities between the existing St. Martins and Edgewood substations, and between the Edgewood and Mukwonago substations, is granted, the administrator of the Division of Energy Regulation said in a Nov. 15 filing to the company.   

As noted on the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin’s website, the division is responsible for overseeing the rates and major construction projects for all of the state’s electric and natural gas utilities.

According to the Nov. 15 filing, the PSC in October 2015 approved ATC’s application for authority to rebuild the existing 138-kV lines. Order Condition 15 in the final decision stated that “if ATC does not begin on-site physical construction within one year of the effective date of this certificate of authority and order, the certificate authorizing the approved project shall become void unless ATC: files a written request for an extension of time with the commission before the date on which the certificate becomes void, and is granted an extension by the commission.”

ATC in August filed a written request for extension to begin construction for the approved project, the division said, adding that the company’s stated reasons for its request were “resource constraints, primarily the availability of construction labor.”

ATC requested an extension of one year, until September 2018, in order to begin construction, the division said.

In response to a request by the commission, ATC in September provided further detail as to the reason for the described resource constraints. The main drivers include the need to complete optical ground wire installation projects in southeast Wisconsin that provide communication for relaying and protection purposes at substations, the division added. ATC said that the current analog phone circuits presently in use will be obsolete in 2018.

Additionally, ATC said that its two construction contractors are working on several large regional projects, which limits available resources. The division also said that ATC further stated that it intends to manage the project within the PSC-authorized project cost.

According to the ATC, the division said, “delaying project engineering, construction and procurement, and the resulting delay in the in-service date is not expected to directly result in any significant change in project costs.”

The division said that the PSC-authorized cost remains about $24.7m, as originally approved in the certificate of authority.

“This extension is the result of extenuating circumstances beyond ATC’s control and therefore is reasonable,” the division said.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3063 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.