After many months of public input and regulatory review, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin gave its final approval to a power line project proposed by American Transmission Co.
The Cranberry-Conover-Plains project is needed because significant growth in the Rhinelander and Eagle River areas has resulted in an overloaded electric system that is vulnerable and subject to blackouts under certain conditions. The new and improved line will significantly improve reliability in the region long-term and improve ATC’s ability to move power in and around northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
ATC will build a new 138-kV, 16-mile line between Eagle River and Conover, and convert about 73 miles of existing lines between Conover and Quinnesec, MA., from 69 kV to 138 kV. The cost of the project is estimated at $116.4 million.
“The transmission lines to the east of Eagle River that connect northern Wisconsin to the Upper Peninsula are some of the most severely constrained in the ATC system,” states Franc Fennessy, ATC manager of local relations. “Approval of this project is good news for homeowners, businesses and industries that enjoy all the benefits of a reliable electric system.”
ATC first introduced the project to area residents in Summer 2004 and submitted its regulatory application in late 2005. Construction is expected to begin during the 3rd Quarter of 2007, and the project is anticipated to be completed in late 2009.