Completing the construction ahead of schedule, American Transmission Co. recently placed into service 75 miles of a 345-kV power line between the Werner West Substation near New London to the Gardner Park Substation adjacent to the Weston Power Plant near Wausau. The line also passes through a new substation located along Highway 22 north of Clintonville.
“This is a significant milestone in our transmission system improvement plan,” notes Brad Ballard, ATC project manager. “We began discussing our plans to build 104 mi of transmission lines in early 2004, received regulatory authorization in 2006 and started construction in fall of that year.”
Construction work is continuing in Shawano County between the Highway 22 and the White Clay substations in the Town of Washington. That segment is the last portion of the Morgan-Werner West line and is scheduled for an on-time completion later this year. Previously this year, a new 138-kV line was energized from Werner West to the Badger Substation, located adjacent to the Highway 22 facility.
“While putting the line into service is a significant achievement, it may be more important to note that the work was performed safely and in an environmentally responsible fashion,” Ballard says. “We have had just one lost-time accident in the more than two years we’ve been working on the project. Detailed construction management plans were developed for each job spread, highlighting individual or unique natural resource features that should be avoided, and describing specific restoration practices to minimize the impact of our presence in the corridor."
The two new lines are needed to more fully support a new generator at the Weston Power Plant that went into service last year and to relieve congestion on lines in and around the Green Bay and Fox Valley areas. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin authorized the projects at a combined cost of $263 million, within a 10-percent window.