PSC Approves New Transmission Project and Rebuild

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) has approved a new electric reliability transmission line project near the Village of Eden, Wisconsin. At an open meeting, the commissioners agreed on the need for the Creekview Interconnection Project and approved the north route proposed by ATC in its application filed earlier this year.

“This 138,000-volt transmission line will support the low-voltage distribution system in the region by connecting to a new We Energies substation,” according to Barbara Mikolajczyk, ATC project manager.

The project was announced in Spring 2014 and includes a new We Energies substation, called Creekview, located on the north side of County Highway F, east of Greenway Road, and a new, 9-mile, 138-kV transmission line to provide service to the new substation.

The new transmission line will be co-located with an existing 345-kV line. The estimated project cost is $25 million to $26 million. A more refined cost estimate will be included in the PSC’s final order for the project, which is anticipated to be issued within the month. Construction is projected to begin in Fall 2016, with an in-service date of January 2018.

The PSC has also issued an order to rebuild a 14-mile, 138-kV transmission line in southeastern Wisconsin. The St. Martins-Edgewood-Mukwonago Rebuild Project runs from the St. Martins Substation in Franklin to the Edgewood Substation in Big Bend and continues on to the Mukwonago Substation in Mukwonago.

Lower Fuel Costs Could Offset We Energies Price Increase

Lower natural gas and coal costs could offset most of a small price hike that is set to hit electricity bills of We Energies customers next year. The utility has filed an application with the Public Service Commission to reduce by more than $17 million the amount it wants to spend for fuel burned in its power plants.
Lower natural gas prices are expected compared with this year, and lower costs to deliver coal by train to Wisconsin are now expected. In addition, the utility is forecasting $8 million in savings because more of the coal burned at its new power plant in Oak Creek will be less-costly coal mined in Wyoming, he said.
The plant was designed to burn coal mined in the eastern United States, but the utility is testing the ability of the plant to burn more western coal. Those reductions offset several increases in costs that the utility is expecting, including $4 million in higher costs to buy power from the Point Beach nuclear plant and higher costs of chemicals used in air pollution control equipment at coal-fired power plants. The fuel-cost savings would amount to 51 cents a month for a typical customer now paying $101.72 a month, according to We Energies.

Xcel Energy Proposes Increasing its Fixed Electric Charge

Following the lead of three other Wisconsin utilities, Xcel Energy
has proposed to increase the fixed charge customers pay on their
electricity bills each month. The charge would rise to $18 a month
from $8 under a rate plan Xcel’s Northern States Power utility
filed Friday with the state Public Service Commission.

The proposal follows the PSC’s approval of increases for
customers of three Wisconsin utilities, including Milwaukee-
based We Energies. Wisconsin regulators have ruled that the
increases are necessary to ensure that customers producing
their own power, but still connecting to the grid, are not being
subsidized by other customers. The companies need to recover
their fixed costs; for example, costs linked to poles, power lines
and customer call centers.

Utility Regulators Reject Rehearing On Badger- Coulee Transmission Line

Utility regulators have denied a request to re-consider their
approval for a high-voltage power line that will cut through
the Coulee Region as it carries electricity to Madison. Several
groups opposed to the $580 million project known as Badger-
Coulee, had petitioned the Public Service Commission (PSC)
for a new hearing of its April decision.  The three-member
commission has voted unanimously to reject requests.

“Our process in the decision making was solid,” according to
Commissioner Phil Montgomery. A joint venture of Xcel
Energy and American Transmission Company, the 345-
kilovolt line will originate at a substation under construction
near Briggs Road that is part of CapX2020, another high-
voltage transmission project running across Minnesota and
western Wisconsin.  Crews are at work raising towers along
the $211 million portion of that project between Alma and
Holmen, with work expected to be completed this summer.
ATC and Xcel say the project will improve system reliability,
deliver cheaper power and provide a pipeline for wind energy
from Minnesota and Iowa to population centers to the east.


Following more than four years of public involvement
and regulatory review, the 345,000-volt Badger Coulee
Transmission Line Project has been tentatively approved
by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. At an open
meeting, PSC commissioners agreed with the project’s
need and benefits.

The approximately 180-mile line, which will electrically
connect the La Crosse area to northern Dane County will
be built by American Transmission Company and Xcel
Energy. The next step is for the Commission to prepare
a written order and approve the decision at an open
meeting before April 24, 2015.

“We appreciate the public’s active involvement
throughout our public outreach and the regulatory
review process,” said ATC Manager of Environmental
and Local Relations Greg Levesque. “Public input helps
identify ways to avoid and minimize environmental and
community impacts. We will continue to communicate
with affected property owners and communities in the
years to come to ensure the safe construction of the line.”
During the meeting, PSC commissioners selected the
Northern Route, which was one of the two options
submitted by the applicants. More than 90 percent of
the Northern Route uses existing utility and Interstate or
U.S. highway corridors. The project’s end points are Xcel
Energy’s new Briggs Road Substation near Holmen and
ATC’s North Madison Substation in the Town of Vienna,
continuing to ATC’s Cardinal Substation in the Town of

The PSC’s order for the project, including any minor
route adjustments or conditions ATC and Xcel Energy
must meet to construct the project, will be issued by
April 24, 2015.

« Older Entries Next Entries »