Major projects update

Badger Coulee

Construction is underway on the Badger Coulee transmission line, one of MISO’s 17 Multi-Value Projects. The project was approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in spring 2015. A portion of the project from the Cardinal Substation to the North Madison Substation will be placed in service in fall 2017. The entire project is expected to be in service in late 2018. The 180-mile, 345-kV line between the La Crosse and Dane County areas will deliver reliability, economic and public policy benefits. Developed jointly with Xcel Energy, the line will:

  • offset the need for about $190 million in lower-voltage upgrades in western Wisconsin,
  • increase access to the wholesale energy market and provide between $118 million and $700 million in net economic benefits over the life of the line, and
  • establish another pathway for renewable energy into Wisconsin with a connection to key load centers.
Bay Lake

The Bay Lake Project is a package of projects that address the delicate, shifting balance between generation, load and transmission in the northern portion of our service area.

The Holmes-Old Mead Road portion of the Bay Lake project, a $120 million, 58-mile, 138-kV line from the Holmes Substation in Menominee County to the Old Mead Road Substation in Escanaba, Mich., was placed into service on time and under budget in 2016.

As part of the North Appleton-Morgan project, a new substation, Benson Lake in Marinette County, was placed into service in July 2017. It includes a large voltage-control device. Construction of the 345-kV and 138-kV lines from our North Appleton Substation in Outagamie County to the Morgan Substation in Oconto County, Wis., is underway; both substations will be expanded. Additional work will be required at 11 other substations. The project was approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in May 2015. Construction of the $328 million project began in 2016. It has an in-service date of late 2018.

Cardinal-Hickory Creek

ATC, ITC Midwest LLC and Dairyland Power Cooperative have plans for a 125-mile, 345-kV transmission line connecting Dubuque County, Iowa, to Dane County, Wis.

The Cardinal-Hickory Creek Project is another of MISO’s Multi-Value Projects. Studies indicate that Cardinal-Hickory Creek will deliver benefits to local communities and the Midwest region by:

  • improving electric system reliability locally and regionally,
  • delivering economic benefits for utilities and electric consumers, and
  • expanding infrastructure to support public policy for greater use of renewables.

If approved by Wisconsin and Iowa regulators, the project is estimated to be in service in 2023.

Northern Area Reliability Assessment

ATC initiated an effort in 2014 to engage stakeholders and identify potential reinforcements due to generation uncertainties in the northern portion of the ATC system. The 10-year project list includes the following preliminary projects:

  • Plains-National 138-kV line,
  • Plains-Arnold 138-kV line update,
  • increase Plains 345/138 kV transformer capacity, and
  • Morgan-Thunder-Crivitz 138‑kV project.

ATC had collaborated with MISO to include these projects in MTEP15. ATC is assisting with the evaluation of generation proposals in this area of Michigan. The need for some of the transmission projects may be eliminated if generation is appropriately located in this area. When generator interconnection agreements are signed, ATC will cancel the appropriate projects and proceed with any projects that result from the MISO interconnection studies.

Wisconsin-Illinois Reliability Project

ATC has proposed a reinforcement project to address reliability concerns associated with the high-voltage transmission system in Southeastern Wisconsin. The reliability concerns are impacted by system load and generation profiles. To enable more efficient power flow, the project reconfigures two existing 345-kV lines in Wisconsin and Illinois, linking them with approximately three to five miles of new double-circuit, 345-kV transmission and a new substation.

This proposed reliability project has been approved in the MISO regional-planning process and by the Illinois Commerce Commission. The project also requires approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin and is targeted for completion in 2021.

Spring Valley‑North Lake Geneva

Construction is underway on the $71 million Spring Valley-North Lake Geneva Project, which was approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in spring 2016. This project is needed to meet an increase in electric demand in Walworth and Kenosha counties in Wisconsin.

The project involves:

  • construction of a new 138-kV transmission line of approximately 23 miles, stretching from the North Lake Geneva Substation in southern Walworth County to the Spring Valley Substation in western Kenosha County,
  • construction of a new 138-kV and 69-kV substation on an ATC-owned parcel along Highway 50 in the Town of Wheatland
  • construction of a new 69-kV transmission line to connect the new substation to the existing Twin Lakes Substation in Twin Lakes, and
  • other power line modifications.

The project is expected to be placed into service in 2019.

Finger Road-Canal

The rebuild of a 69-kV line in northeastern Wisconsin, along with associated substation work, was approved by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission in spring 2017 at a cost of $60.7 million. About 55 miles of 1950s-vintage wood poles running between Finger Road Substation and Canal Substation will be rebuilt. The line serves seven distribution substations in northern Kewaunee County and Door County.

The project includes:

  • the replacement of 834 wood pole structures,
  • the replacement of line conductor and addition of a fiber optic shield wire, and
  • the replacement of some associated substation equipment.

Construction is scheduled to complete in January 2021.