ATC will conduct system planning on a long-range basis by developing plans for the ATC transmission system as a whole, as well as plans for specified zones within the boundaries of ATC’s transmission system. The idea behind the zone approach to long-range planning is to develop plans that consider all of the needs/problems/developments within each zone. The goal within the ATC footprint is to develop an “umbrella” plan for each zone, that is, a plan that emphasizes projects that serve multiple purposes or solve multiple problems within the ATC system. The zone approach is intended to address requirements for support to the local distribution systems in that zone on a least cost basis. It is anticipated, however, that several projects that span more than one zone or possibly even the ATC transmission system boundaries may evolve. Such projects will likely involve coordination with other transmission owners or regional transmission organizations.
The planning zones deviate significantly from existing control area boundaries and from planning zones traditionally used for joint planning in conjunction with the Wisconsin PSC. The zones were selected considering the need for a manageable number of planning areas and to consolidate areas within the state with similar topology and load characteristics. (see Zone Location Search for more information).