American Transmission Co. (ATC) energized the Spring Valley-North Lake Geneva Electric Reliability project, which electrically connects Kenosha County with the Lake Geneva area. It is now part of an integrated electric system serving customers in the region. This 23-mile, 138,000-V transmission line was approved by the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin in March 2016 and construction initiated in 2017.
Components of the US$71 million project include:
- Construction of a new 138,000-V transmission line stretching from the North Lake Geneva Substation in southern Walworth County to the Spring Valley Substation in western Kenosha County,
- Construction of the new Balsam Substation along Wisconsin State Trunk Highway 50 in the town of Wheatland, and
- Construction of a new 69,000-V transmission line to connect the new substation to the Twin Lakes Substation in Twin Lakes.
The ATC worked with its environmental contractor, Stantec, to revegetate areas along the route in addition to the perimeter of the substation with a pollinator-friendly seed mix. To date, the substation site has reached 70% revegetation, a scoring well-suited for pollinator habitat. The company also funded the transplant of several dozen trees from the substation site to a local school as part of the Trees for Threes program with the Milwaukee Bucks.
“There were several unique challenges in the planning of this project,” said ATC Senior Project Manager Doug Berton. “In addition to addressing transmission reliability for the region, we also needed to consider the reconfiguration needs of the lower-voltage system. The Spring Valley-North Lake Geneva project now provides system redundancy and allows for maintenance outages when repairs are needed.”
“We appreciate the cooperation of area residents as we worked on this project, beginning with public involvement in 2013 to completing construction,” said ATC Director of Environmental and Local Relations Gregory Levesque. “We will continue restoration on portions of the project in the coming months and continue monitoring pollinator habitats over the next several years.”
A map of the project can be found here.