American Transmission Co. (ATC) has received approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) for the southern portion of the Wisconsin-Illinois transmission project.
The ICC approved a portion of the 345-kV line that would run from Pleasant Prairie, Wis., to a Commonwealth Edison transmission system in Illinois through a new substation in Village of Wadsworth.
The approximately three-mile line addresses the potential risk of cascading outages under certain operating conditions and would accommodate the increasing power flows occurring from Wisconsin to Illinois.
ATC, in an October annual assessment, identified up to $4.4 billion in spending on transmission construction and maintenance projects over the next 10 years.
Despite calls for an expansion of transmission lines to accommodate the growth of renewable energy resources on the grid, ATC’s 2016 assessment was down slightly from last year’s assessment.
ATC’s Wisconsin-Illinois transmission project is expected to cost about $55 million. If approved, construction could begin as early as spring 2020 to meet a proposed in-service date later that year.
“Approval from the ICC on this project is a major step forward in providing a reliable, alternative power path in this region,” said Barbara Mikolajczyk, ATC project manager. “We will soon present our project to Wisconsin regulators and look forward to a similar decision from the PSC.”
ATC was formed in 2000 and is co-owned by Wisconsin utilities, including We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service, Alliant Energy, Madison Gas & Electric and Superior Water, Light and Power.