ATC files state regulatory application to build two power lines to serve Western Milwaukee County
Proposed routes include overhead, underground options for consideration by PSC
PEWAUKEE, Wis. – Following more than a year of analysis and community involvement, American Transmission Co. has filed an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to build two 138-kilovolt transmission lines to improve electric system reliability in Western Milwaukee County. Each transmission line would be approximately two miles.
The Western Milwaukee County Electric Reliability Project, announced in October 2010, involves the construction of two transmission lines connections to serve a new substation proposed by We Energies near Watertown Plank Road and 93rd Street, adjacent to the existing We Energies Milwaukee County power plant and substation.
Planning studies indicate that electric demand in the U.S. Highway 45 corridor in western Milwaukee County is expected to double as soon as 2016, and existing distribution substations and feeders that serve the area will not be adequate to meet anticipated future electric demand. The new substation and transmission lines are needed to respond to the area’s growing electric needs and the critical nature of the Level 1 adult and Level 1 pediatric trauma centers located within Milwaukee Regional Medical Center. These centers call for a higher level of electric service reliability, one that includes a redundant source for electricity in the event one of the two proposed lines experiences an outage.
The PSC requires ATC to propose two route options for each transmission line. ATC has identified variations on four route options for the two new lines that include both overhead and underground segments. Underground options, while more expensive, are being proposed to ensure electric system reliability coming into the new substation, and to address the difficulty of siting overhead lines in a densely population urban area, The estimated cost for two new transmission lines and the associated substation range from $20 million to $40 million, depending on the routes constructed.
“We appreciate the public’s active involvement over the past year in helping us evaluate possible routes,” says Mary Carpenter, ATC local relations consultant. “We’ve looked at dozens of paths for these lines, and made adjustments based on what we learned from area landowners, businesses, community organizations and local officials. We encourage people to continue to stay engaged with the projects as it moves into the regulatory phase.”
If the project is approved, the PSC will select the final two transmission line routes to be built. Construction of the new lines and substation would begin in 2014 to meet an in-service date of 2015.