ATC to share final route alternatives for new transmission lines to reinforce electric system in Wauwatosa area
Open house scheduled for Monday, Sept. 12, 4-7 p.m., Wauwatosa Civic Center
PEWAUKEE, Wis. – After a year of analysis and community involvement, American Transmission Co. had identified the final four route alternatives for two proposed 138-kilovolt transmission lines needed to improve electric system reliability in western Milwaukee County, primarily in Wauwatosa. The community can learn about the transmission line route options at an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 12, at the Wauwatosa Civic Center, 7725 W. North Ave.
“We appreciate the public’s 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 the are landowners, businesses, community organizations and local officials. We encourage people to continue to stay involved in the project as it moves into the regulatory phase.
The Western Milwaukee County Electric Reliability Project, announced in October 2010, involves the construction of two transmission line 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 the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center. The medical center calls 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 Public Service Commission of Wisconsin requires ATC to propose two route options for each transmission line. ATC had identified variations on four route options for the 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 line in a densely populated urban area.
ATC will include these four route alternatives in its application to the PSC in early 2012. If approved, the PSC will select the final two transmission line routes to be built. Construction of the new lines would begin in 2014 to meet an in-service date of 2015.