American Transmission Co. (ATC) will begin construction in September of a new, 35-mi high-voltage electric transmission line in south central Wisconsin. The line will allow local electric distribution companies to access lower-cost power produced in the region by extending an existing transmission connection to Illinois.
“By reducing transmission congestion and increasing transfer capacity, this project will improve access to lower-cost energy,” said Mary Carpenter, ATC local relations. “We will do our best to inform landowners of the impact of our work, while keeping disruptions to a minimum as we complete the project.”
The line is the first of its kind in the Midwest. Until this project, transmission lines in the region have almost exclusively been built to enhance reliability of electrical power in the area. Although improved reliability will be a by-product of the project, economics drove the decision to build. Local electric utilities will save through improved access to the wholesale electricity market and their savings will be passed on to end-use electricity customers.
The 345-kV circuit will be built on an existing transmission line right-of-way between the Rockdale Substation in the Town of Christiana in Dane County and the Paddock Substation located in the Town of Beloit in Rock County. The lines that extend south out of the Paddock Substation into Illinois create a path for importing power into Wisconsin.
Construction will begin with preparation of the rights-of-way for the line with tree trimming and pouring the foundations for the poles and is projected to be in service in 2010. Contractor partners include Kenny Construction Co., PAR Electrical Contractors, Inc., and Aldridge Electric, Inc.
Anticipated savings from the approximately $133 million project are expected to more than pay for its development.