Introduction

 

Service. It’s what drives our business every day to ensure electric reliability across our footprint in the Upper Midwest.

Since 2018, local utilities have retired over 2,200 megawatts of fossil-fueled generation within our service area in Wisconsin and Upper MichiganIn its place is a growing portfolio of renewable generation and the need for ATC to connect those resources to the transmission grid to help support a sustainable energy future. As of Sept. 1, 2020, ATC’s system planning and interconnection teams are studying 73 generator projects that have been submitted to the Midcontinent Independent System Operator to connect almost 6,700 megawatts of solar generation and almost 1,300 MW of wind generation. While the number of load-driven reliability projects are declining, Multi-Value Projects such as the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project remain critical for the vitality of the transmission system across the MISO region.  

The market continues to demand more clean energy, pushing efforts towards more renewables, storage, distributed generation, electric vehicles, and heat pumps for homes and businessesThese changes continue to evolve; ATC’s dedicated teams of engineers, planners and analysts are studying these trends to align with opportunities that make the most sense for our owners and energy consumers.  

It’s been nearly 20 years since ATC was formedSince that point, we continue to manage the region’s transmission assets to ensure reliable electric service for approximately 5 million energy consumers. Our duty to help keep the lights on includes continual monitoring of our transmission infrastructure in addition to the evolving trends in the electric industry.  

Aging infrastructure remains the primary driver for approximately 50% of our capital projects. To maintain reliability, significant investments in our infrastructure are required to address deteriorating wooden poles and substation equipment initially installed decades ago. Our oversight of these assets is a constant. New fiber optic wire installations help our operators to more reliably monitor the status of our grid and address unplanned and planned outages and other potential issuesInnovations in bus re-designs, such as at the Arcadian and Granville substations, allow us to take out a breaker without requiring a line outage, providing resiliency on our system.

ATC’s commitment to oulocal distribution companies and owners remains the same – to keep the lights on and complete our capital project work safely, for both our crews and the public.  

Transmission investments

Projections from past and current Transmission System Assessments

 20162017201820192020
Specific Network Projects$1.3B$0.7B/$1.0B$0.5B$0.4B$0.4B
Regional Multi-Value Projects$0.5B$0.4B$0.3B$0.2B$0.2B
Asset Maintenance$1.4B$1.4B$1.5B$1.7B$1.8B
Other Capital Categories$0.4B/$1.2B$0.3B/$0.8B$0.5/$1.1B$0.6B/$1.3B$0.5B/$1.1B
Total 10-Year Capital Cost$3.6B/$4.4B$2.8B/$3.6B$2.8/$3.4B$2.9B/$3.6B$2.9B/$3.5B
Jim Vespalec
Director, Asset Planning & Engineering
Andy Dolan
Vice President of System Planning