American Transmission Co. (ATC), which owns, operates, builds and maintains the high-voltage electric transmission system serving portions of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois, has identified various new high-voltage transmission line projects that can help deliver renewable energy, while also addressing reliability issues in the Midwest.
One potential project, an approximate 150-mile 345 kV line between La Crosse and Madison in western Wisconsin, is anticipated to provide multiple benefits and address needs identified in other regional planning studies. ATC has begun coordinating with the Minnesota CapX2020 group, which is proposing a 345 kV line from Minneapolis/St. Paul into La Crosse that would need to connect to ATC's transmission system at that point.
ATC also is studying the benefits of a 345 kV line from Madison south to Dubuque, Iowa, and a 345 kV line from Wisconsin's Fox River Valley north and south along Lake Michigan. ATC's studies also will examine the viability of voltage levels at 765 kV.
Each of these projects could potentially help meet the Upper Midwest Transmission Development Initiative (UMTDI) objective for interconnecting more renewable resources to help meet state, regional and national policy goals. UMTDI is the five-state group that includes Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota, which formed last year to identify how together they could meet their individual renewable energy goals and site and pay for the needed transmission infrastructure.
ATC has been a participant in several regional planning groups to ensure the transmission system can deliver the energy needed to meet states' renewable goals. UMTDI recently released maps showing that renewable energy zones to the west need a strong tie to Wisconsin to move the energy to market.
SOURCE: American Transmission Co.