American Transmission Co. begins electric cable removal in Straits of Mackinac for upcoming replacement project
Two de-energized submarine cables will be removed
PEWAUKEE, Wis. — American Transmission Co. will begin removing two of six submarine electric transmission cables from the lakebed of the Straits of Mackinac starting Aug. 24. The approximate 30-day process is a significant step in ATC’s Straits Cable Replacement Project, which will restore electric system reliability to the region following the April 2018 anchor strike that damaged the cables.
ATC has received permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy to conduct this work. ATC contractor Durocher Marine, a division of Kokosing Industrial, Inc. will remove approximately six miles of de-energized cable in total across the waterway.
“Our goal for this project is to safely and effectively remove all the cables, install new transmission cables and restore electric reliability to the Upper Peninsula and lower Michigan,” said ATC Senior Project Manager Dustin Johanek.
ATC is partnering with LS Cable Systems America, Inc., a subsidiary of LS Cable & System Ltd. of South Korea, to produce and install the replacement transmission cables. Beginning in the second quarter of 2021, Durocher Marine will contract with LS Cable Systems America, Inc. to remove the remaining submarine cables and replace both circuits with two, three-phase 138,000-volt cables containing solid dielectric insulation. Following necessary upgrades at the Point La Barbe Substation in St. Ignace and the McGulpin Riser Station in Mackinaw City, the $105 million project will be complete by December 2021.
ATC continues to work with tribal nations, regulators and local officials to gather input and provide updates about this project.
Note to editors: In its December 2018 Transmission Expansion Plan, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator recommended the replacement of ATC’s two electric circuits in the Straits as soon as practical to ensure the continued reliable service to the Upper Peninsula. More information about ATC’s Straits Cable Replacement Project can be found on the project page. Details regarding the April 2018 anchor strike to ATC’s cables and the subsequent restoration can be found here.