Major projects update

Badger Coulee

Badger Coulee, one of MISO’s 17 Multi‑Value Projects, was approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in April 2015. The 180‑mile, 345‑kV line between the La Crosse and Dane County areas will deliver reliability, economic and public policy benefits. Sponsored jointly with Xcel Energy, the project will:

  • Offset the need for about $150 million in lower‑voltage upgrades in western Wisconsin,
  • Increase access to the wholesale energy market and provide between $118 million and $702 million in net economic benefits over the life of the project and
  • Establish another pathway for renewable energy into Wisconsin with a connection to key load centers.

Construction is set to begin in 2016 to meet an in‑service date of 2018.

Bay Lake

The Bay Lake Project is a package of proposals intended to address the delicate, shifting balance between generation, load and transmission in the northern portion of our service area. Construction of the $120 million Holmes-Old Mead Road portion of Bay Lake began earlier this year. It includes a single 58‑mile, 138‑kV line from the Holmes Substation in Menominee County to the Old Mead Road Substation in Escanaba, Mich. Anticipated in‑service date is mid‑2016.

The North Appleton-Morgan portion includes 345‑kV and 138‑kV lines from our North Appleton Substation in Outagamie County to the Morgan Substation in Oconto County, Wis.; both substations will be expanded. A new substation, Benson Lake, will be required to accommodate a large voltage‑control device at the site of our Amberg Substation in Marinette County. 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 is expected to begin in 2017 with an in‑service date of 2019.

Cardinal-Hickory Creek

American Transmission Co. and ITC Midwest LLC have plans for a high‑voltage transmission line connecting northeast Iowa and western Wisconsin. A study area from Dubuque County, Iowa, to Dane County, Wis., has been identified for the approximately 125‑mile, 345‑kV line.

The Cardinal-Hickory Creek project is another of MISO’s Multi‑Value Projects. Studies indicate that Cardinal-Hickory Creek is a multi‑value project that would 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
  • Expanding infrastructure to support public policy for greater use of renewables

If approved by Wisconsin and Iowa regulators, construction is anticipated to begin in 2019.

Mackinac HVDC Station

The HVDC flow‑control device placed into operation in 2014 has improved electric reliability in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and northern Wisconsin. Previously, the transmission facilities in the eastern U.P. were tied to Lower Michigan, and the western U.P. facilities to northern Wisconsin because the system could not support the flow of power across the width of the peninsula. The HVDC device now facilitates that support, and provided benefits almost immediately. An unplanned outage on transmission facilities in northern Wisconsin in fall 2014 almost surely would have caused customers in the U.P. to lose service without the new facility, but the HVDC device provided system support, maintaining reliability by allowing a continuous flow of power.

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
  • Morgan-Thunder-Crivitz 138‑kV project

ATC is collaborating with MISO to include these projects in MTEP 15. ATC is supportive of efforts in Michigan to add generation in the area and will continue to assess the need for these projects as generation proposals mature.

Southeast Wisconsin‑Northeastern Illinois Interface

We are studying a reinforcement project to address reliability concerns associated with the Southeastern Wisconsin–Northeastern Illinois Interface. The project consists of reconfiguring two 345‑kV lines in Wisconsin and Illinois, linking them with about three miles of double‑circuit 345‑kV lines and a new substation.

ATC has introduced the proposed project to the MISO regional planning process. The preliminary cost is estimated to be $52 million, with a projected in‑service date of 2020.

Spring Valley‑North Lake Geneva

New and upgraded transmission facilities are 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 25 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- and 69-kV substation on an ATC‑owned parcel along Highway 50 in the Town of Wheatland or at the Richmond Road Substation site in the Town of Randall
  • Construction of a new 69-kV transmission line to connect the new substation to the existing Twin Lakes Substation in Twin Lakes
  • Depending on the route and substation site, other power line modifications may be needed The $71 million to $91 million project is being reviewed by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. If approved, construction would begin in 2017 to meet a 2019 in‑service date.

The $71 million to $91 million project is being reviewed by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. If approved, construction would begin in 2017 to meet a 2019 in‑service date.