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SWL&P: Nemadji Switching Station Is About 30% Complete

June 1, 2021
Superior Water, Light and Power also told Wisconsin regulators on April 28 that the Nemadji transmission line work is about 55% complete.

Superior Water, Light and Power (SWL&P) on April 28 told the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin that the Nemadji switching station is about 30% complete, while the Nemadji transmission line work is about 55% complete.

As TransmissionHub reported, according to the commission’s February 2018 final decision conditionally approving the project, SWL&P in March 2017 filed with the commission an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) to build about 1.9 miles of double-circuit, 115-kV transmission line, one-half mile of single-circuit, 115-kV transmission line, and a new switching station, to be known as the Nemadji switching station, to be located near the Calumet Superior Refinery (Calumet) and Enbridge Energy Superior Terminal (Enbridge) in the city of Superior, Douglas County, Wis.

As noted in SWL&P’s April 28 quarterly progress report for the period Jan. 1 through March 31, filed with the commission, construction of the permitted transmission lines (132L and 169L) began in 3Q18, while construction of the permitted switching station began in 4Q19. Grading, earthwork and stormwater controls have been completed and the electric equipment enclosure (EEE) building has been set and energized, SWL&P said.

The company noted that it filed with the commission in April 2019 a request to modify the Nemadji Project, titled the Superior Refining Company (SRC) Expansion, and that the commission acknowledged that request as compliant with relevant final decision order points in May 2019.

SWL&P said that since the 4Q19 report, certain events have necessitated a temporary pause in specific construction activities. The company said that that pause in construction will not impact reliability to any of its customers. As of this date, and other than as described in prior quarterly filings, construction of the switching station has not yet restarted, SWL&P said.

The company said that the remaining construction that is expected to be undertaken involves:

  • Restarting Nemadji switching station construction 2Q21-3Q21; placing it in service by 4Q21
  • Completing 165L and 167L transmission line construction, including foundations, and placing it in service by 3Q21
  • Placing in service the reconfigured 168L and 169L by 2Q22
  • Placing in service the overall project in 3Q22

The company also noted that the approved cost estimate for the Nemadji Project was $16.6m, excluding the SRC Expansion, which the commission approved and added to the project post-issuance of the CPCN.

An unanticipated increase in labor costs, driven by a strong construction environment, and delays in the Nemadji Project due to an explosion and fire at SRC, are the primary drivers for the projected increase, SWL&P said.

The actual costs through March for the Nemadji transmission line portion of the project were about $8.6m; about $6.6m for the Nemadji station portion; and $972,435 for the Nemadji expansion portion. SWL&P said that its anticipated cost for the transmission line portion totals about $13.3m; about $8.3m for the station portion; and about $2.5m for the Nemadji expansion portion of the project.

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