ATC provides updates on two Wisconsin transmission projects

American Transmission Company (ATC) on Jan. 30 filed with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin a quarterly progress report for the period Oct. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2018, noting that the planned in-service date for its Bunker Hill-Blackbrook (M13) Project is 1Q19.

All activities necessary to support that in-service date remain on schedule, the company said, adding that all necessary permits and approvals for the project have been received.

As TransmissionHub reported, the commission in July 2016 granted, subject to conditions, ATC’s application to build and place in service facilities for the project, which includes building a new substation; rebuilding the 115-kV M13 transmission line from the Bunker Hill switching station in Lincoln County, Wis., to the Blackbrook switching station in Langlade County, Wis.; uprating the 115-kV M13 transmission line from the Kelly substation in Marathon County, Wis., to the Blackbrook switching station; as well as retiring and removing the Bunker Hill and Blackbrook substations.

The route of the rebuild portion of the project begins at the Blackbrook substation in the town of Ackley, Langlade County, and follows the existing M13 line route west to the proposed Ackley substation in the town of Pine River, Lincoln County. The rebuild would take place adjacent to the existing M13 line and is 8.2 miles long, the commission added, noting that the route of the uprate follows the existing M13 route south from the proposed Ackley substation to the Kelly substation in the village of Weston, Marathon County.

In its Jan. 30 filing, ATC said that construction activities for the uprate section began on the final phase of the line, and that all substation construction activities have been completed.

ATC added that actual project costs as of Dec. 31, 2018, were about $24m, compared to the commission-authorized amount for the estimated project cost of about $29.7m. The revised project cost estimate as of Dec. 31, 2018, was about $24.9m, ATC said.

Spring Valley-N. Lake Geneva

Separately on Jan. 30, ATC filed with the commission a quarterly progress report for the same time period for its Spring Valley-N. Lake Geneva Project, noting that the anticipated in-service date for that project is Dec. 31. All project activities needed to support that in-service date remain on schedule, the company said.

As noted on the company’s website, the commission in March 2016 approved the project, which involves:

  • Construction of a new, approximately 23-mile, 138-kV transmission line that stretches from the existing North Lake Geneva substation in southern Walworth County to the existing Spring Valley substation in western Kenosha County
  • Construction of the new 138-kV and 69-kV Balsam substation on an ATC-owned parcel along Hwy. 50 in the Town of Wheatland
  • Construction of a new 69-kV transmission line to connect the new substation to the existing Twin Lakes substation in Twin Lakes

Studies indicate that the project will deliver benefits to the area by strengthening the electric system to meet the growing use of electricity, the company said, adding that the area electric transmission system is vulnerable to low voltages and power outages and will no longer adequately support the lower-voltage distribution system. The project will provide system redundancy and allow for maintenance outages when repairs are needed, the company said.

In its Jan. 30 filing, ATC said that it has received for the project the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers General Permit; the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Utility Permit; and the WDNR Storm Water and Erosion Control Permit.

Detailed design activities continued for Lines X105 and 63141, ATC said, adding that foundation construction for Line X104 was completed; hauling, framing, and setting of structures for that line continued as well. Right of way clearing activities for Line Y102 continued also, ATC said.

Detailed design engineering activities continued for the Spring Valley and Bain substations, ATC said, noting that construction is complete on the North Lake Geneva and Balsam substations.

Actual expenditures as of Dec. 31, 2018, were about $39.7m, compared to the commission-authorized amount for the estimated project cost of about $70.6m, ATC said. The revised project cost estimate as of Dec. 31, 2018, was about $72.3m, ATC said.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 2807 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 13 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 corinar@pennwell.com.