PSC Approves Transmission Project in Northern Wisconsin

MADISON – The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) today approved American Transmission Company’s (ATC) request to construct and upgrade transmission lines in northern Wisconsin.  The project has been commonly referred to as the Cranberry-Conover-Plains project and is in Vilas, Forest and Florence counties.

“As with all proposed transmission projects, the Commission must determine a need for the facilities and ensure that it is in the public’s best interest,” said Chairperson Dan Ebert.  “The need for improved transmission facilities in this part of the state was first identified in 1991 and was uncontested in this case.  This indicates how essential this project is to ensuring customers in northern Wisconsin have reliable electric service.”

In a verbal decision today, the Commission approved ATC’s request to enhance the transmission system in northern Wisconsin.  The first part of the project includes building approximately 16 miles of new 138 kilovolt transmission line to connect the Cranberry Substation near Eagle River and the Conover Substation near North Twin Lake in Conover. 

The project also includes upgrading 73 miles of an existing 69 kilovolt transmission line, 33 of which are in Wisconsin, from the Conover Substation in Conover to Iron Mountain, Michigan.  The transmission line will be upgraded to a 138 kilovolt line and will help reinforce the electric system in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

The Commission’s decision today indicates that the new transmission line will follow U.S. Highway 45 and the upgraded line will cross Twin Lakes overhead, be removed from the Elvoy Creek Bog and follow a less-intrusive route along a property owner’s land.

“The need for this project is obvious,” said Commissioner Bert Garvin.  “The route we have selected is cost-efficient and accommodates concerns that landowners in the project area had.  Today’s decision will greatly help the transmission system in our state and will ensure energy customers are provided with reliable service.”

“I am happy with our decision today,” said Commissioner Mark Meyer.  “Not only does our route selection make good environmental sense, it will minimize individual landowners’ hardships.  I would also like to commend the public for getting involved in this case and bringing very reasonable and feasible options to the Commission.”

The Commission will issue a written order to finalize today’s decision at a later date. 

Documents associated with ATC’s application can be viewed on our Electronic Regulatory Filing System at  Enter case number 137-CE-125 in the boxes provided on the PSC homepage, or click on the Electronic Regulatory Filing System button.