Second round of Bay Lake Project open houses draws large crowds
More than 2,250 people attend meetings to learn about preliminary routes
DE PERE, Wis. – Thousands of area residents turned out during the past two weeks for a series of open house meetings for the Bay Lake Project hosted by American Transmission Co. Area landowners and other interested parties provided feedback on ATC’s proposed preliminary routes for new transmission lines and a substation in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
“The second round of open house meetings was well attended by those looking to gather information and provide feedback on the project,” explained David Hovde, ATC local relations consultant. “This is why we have open houses. We want area residents to get the facts and understand the project need and goals. Plus, their comments play a key role as the preliminary routes are further evaluated.”
In-depth studies and evaluations of the proposed preliminary routes, along with review of comments submitted, will occur over the next six months with ATC narrowing the number of proposed routes to two by spring 2013. Another round of public open houses will take place at that time to gather additional information and comments. Following public outreach, ATC expects to file applications to build the facilities with regulatory agencies in Michigan and Wisconsin in late 2013 and 2014. The regulatory agencies will select the final route to be used for the project. If approved by both states, construction of the project would begin in 2015 to meet in-service dates of late 2016 through 2017.
The Bay Lake Project will improve electric system reliability in the region as well as increase stability of the system.
“Although ATC has made significant reinforcements in the region in the past six years, the transmission upgrades have not kept pace with changing electric needs and demands,” explained Hovde. “Reduced output from generating units at power plants in the region also has placed increasing importance on transmission.”
The Bay Lake Project will address regional reliability concerns and includes the following components:
- A Green Bay-area substation, a 345-kilovolt line between the new substation and the Morgan Substation near Oconto Falls, Wis., and a 138-kV line between the same two substations. A large voltage-control device also will be required and is likely to be located on ATC property near its Amberg, Wis., substation.
- A 345-kV line from Morgan to the Plains Substation near Quinnesec, Mich.
- A 138-kV line from Holmes to the Old Mead Road Substation in Escanaba, Mich., designed to accommodate an additional circuit to the Chandler Substation, also in Escanaba, in the future.
Total preliminary costs for the project are estimated to be between $286 million and $430 million for the 345-kV facilities and between $149 million and $222 million for the 138-kV facilities.
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