New transmission line energized in northern Dane County
Nine-mile line will provide critical reinforcement to area’s electric system
MADISON, Wis. –American Transmission Co. energized a new 138,000-volt transmission line earlier this week serving northern Dane County. The new line connects the North Madison Substation in the Town of Vienna to the Huiskamp Substation in the Town of Westport and will provide a critical reinforcement to the electric system in Dane County, where demand for electricity has grown significantly in recent years.
Prior to the building of this line, portions of Middleton, Dane, Waunakee, Vienna, Westport and the northeast side of Madison were supported primarily by a network of 69,000-volt transmission lines. Some of the lines were built more than 90 years ago and many were used to near-maximum capacity during the peak summer season for several years, making communities in the area vulnerable to outages.
“The benefits of this line in the area will be evident immediately,” said Sarah Justus, ATC local relations manager. “Last summer, limited capacity threatened to overload the system, requiring that temporary equipment and operational fixes be employed to help maintain electric service during hot, high-demand days.”
According to Justus, the system was projected to experience overloaded conditions this summer if the line was not placed in service. Additionally, system constraints provided only limited opportunity to take existing lines out of service for maintenance, further compromising reliability and increasing operating costs. “The addition of this new 138,000-volt line provides vital strengthening to the transmission system that serves the area, which is now well-positioned to maintain reliable electric service and accommodate future growth,” Justus notes.
Although construction is completed and the line is in service, work still remains on the project. “While we take great measures to avoid sensitive areas and minimize the impact of construction,” says Justus, “we want area residents to know we are committed to restoring the corridor after construction, and maintaining it in coming years.”
The project was first announced to local officials and residents in fall 2005. “We appreciate the patience and support we have received from the community during this important project,” says Justus. “We received approval by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in July 2007, and began construction in spring 2008. The input and involvement of the community has made a difference every step of the way.”