American Transmission Co. (ATC) has developed plans to ensure future regional electric system reliability and access to economic energy over the next decade in its recently released 10-Year Transmission System Assessment.

ATC is a Wisconsin, U.S.-based company that owns and operates the electric transmission system, including 9,440 miles (15,192 km) of transmission lines and 519 substations, in portions of the Upper Midwest.

“The industry and its stakeholders continue to make progress in planning for transmission solutions that address regional reliability and economic needs,” explained Ron Snead, ATC's director of system planning. “Our 10-year forecast calls for improvements and maintenance to our network as well as projects that will strengthen the regional grid.”

The bulk of the expenditures includes nearly US$2 billion in improvements and additions to ATC's electric system, $1.1 billion in maintenance and $0.8 billion in regional projects, the costs of which will be shared across the Upper Midwest.

MISO, the regional transmission planning authority, late last year approved its first portfolio of projects whose costs will be shared among a broad base of electricity customers. Three of these multi-value projects fall within ATC's service territory: the Badger Coulee project from the La Crosse area to Madison in Wisconsin; the Pleasant Prairie-Zion Energy Center project, a 5-mile (8-km) link between Kenosha County, Wisconsic and northern Illinois; and the Cardinal Bluffs project from Madison to Dubuque County, Iowa.

The 10-Year Assessment also notes that new technologies will increasingly play a role in improving system operators' ability to control the grid and integrate renewable resources. The report lists more than 70 projects across ATC's service territory.

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