If the recent heatwave didn’t convince people that we need to strengthen our electric transmission system then nothing short of a blackout will. Electricity consumption records were knocked down and re-set like bowling pins with startling regularity during the extreme heat and nearly every utility in the state publicly appealed to its customers to conserve.
Providers routinely invoked their interruptible contracts, asking large users to shut down during peak periods and every available power plant in the state was, at some point, running at capacity to meet customer demand.
So it was only by some very good fortune that the same lightning storm that knocked out two major generating units in Wausau missed the only 345 kilovolt (kV) power line connecting Wisconsin to key generating sources to the west; we are equally fortunate that it didn’t strike a day earlier when local electricity use was even higher. While it is true that
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has named
Such projects are always controversial and citizens should exercise their right to be heard at the public hearings that will be held by the Public Service Commission. But while doing so, they should also exercise their best judgment about the reality of our energy situation.