American Transmission Co. projects

Project website for a Wisconsin-based company that owns and operates the high-voltage electric transmission system that powers communities in portions of the Upper Midwest.

Western Milwaukee County Electric Reliability Project

PROJECT STATUS: Completed and in service

We Energies and American Transmission Co. completed an electric system reinforcement project that involves the construction of a new We Energies substation adjacent to the existing Milwaukee County Substation at 93rd Street and Watertown Plank Road, and construction of two separate 138,000-volt transmission lines to connect the substation to the transmission system that serves area. The project was approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in March 2013.

Need for the project

The Highway 45 corridor in western Milwaukee County is a growing metropolitan business hub. According to We Energies’ planning studies, electric demand in this region is projected to double as soon as 2016, beyond the capacity of the existing distribution substations and feeders that serve the area. Key drivers include commercial growth along Watertown Plank Road and increased electric usage by businesses and homes.

In addition, the critical nature of the two Level 1 trauma centers located within the Milwaukee Regional Medical Complex calls for a higher level of electric service reliability, one that includes a redundant source for electricity in the event that one of the two lines experiences an outage. Two separate and distinct lines are being proposed to serve the new We Energies substation.

The project:
  • Relieves current and projected substation and source line overloads
  • Provides needed service level of reliability to MRMC
  • Enables planned growth in the area
  • Ensures system reliability for homes and businesses

Routing and siting

The Wauwatosa area is highly developed urban area with dense housing and commercial areas, which added to the complexity of the routing and siting process. Additionally, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s planned Zoo Interchange project presented another consideration as their evolving plan impacted our project and schedule.

Best routes balance:
  • Reliability, operation and maintenance
  • Constructability
  • Environmental impacts
  • Social impacts
  • Cost

Public Involvement

A series of public open house meetings and periodic mailings provided the public with opportunities to comment on the project and participate in the process. Click here to learn more about ATC’s public involvement process.

Project at a Glance
Proposal:We Energies substation and ATC electric transmission lines
Area benefited:Wauwatosa and western Milwaukee County
Length of lines:Approximately two miles each
Voltage:138,000 volts
End points:Milwaukee County Substation site at 93rd Street and Watertown Plank Road; the transmission project connects with the existing transmission lines in the area. Those lines are located to the west and south and the endpoints were determined through the routing and siting and engineering processes.
Approved cost:Approximately $23 million
Pole height:60 to 80 feet
PSC Docket ID:5-CE-139
Identify potential routes with public involvement:Fall 2010-fall 2011
Environmental analysis:Through Fall 2011
Application submitted to Public Service Commission:February 2012
Received PSC decision:March 2013
Design line and obtain easements:Spring 2013 through summer 2014
Construction:Fall 2013 - spring 2015
Project in-service:May 2015