American Transmission Company (ATC) on Sept. 26 said that two transmission lines – a 138-kV and a 345-kV line that run between the North Appleton substation in Outagamie County and the Morgan substation in Oconto County in Wisconsin – have been energized.
ATC spokesperson Jackie Olson on Sept. 27 told TransmissionHub that the two lines were energized on Sept. 25.
The project also involved expanding both substations, the company said, adding that the new Benson Lake substation in Marinette County, Wis., went into service in 2017.
The project was authorized by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in 2015 at $327.6m, the company said, adding that final numbers will not be tallied for several months.
“The project was estimated to be completed by the end of this year,” Cliff Van Den Elzen, ATC project manager, said in the statement. “Several innovations in construction techniques and processes enabled construction crews to work more efficiently, allowing us to bring the project on-line early and under the authorized budget.”
Laminate construction mats were used on 100% of the power line right of way (ROW), ATC said, noting that use of the laminate mats instead of traditional timber mats saved time and money as they are less expensive and twice as wide as timber mats, as well as lighter and easier to install and remove.
By working with local officials to install temporary decking across local crossroads and matting the entire ROW, construction continued without interruption during two winter seasons, the company said.
According to ATC’s website, the North Appleton-Morgan project is the Wisconsin portion of ATC’s Bay Lake Project, which is designed to reinforce the electrical transmission grid in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and northeastern Wisconsin to address generation changes, changes in demand, the evolution of a wholesale electricity market, and emerging reliability concerns.
According to the site, the North Appleton-Morgan project is 45 miles long.
The 138-kV Holmes-Old Mead Road Michigan portion of the Bay Lake Project is 58 miles long and has an estimated project cost of $94m, according to the site. That project’s end points are the Holmes substation in Menominee County, Mich., and the Old Mead Road substation in Escanaba, Mich., the site noted.