American Transmission Co. has completed the second week of successful tests on a 143-mile segment of the Arrowhead-Weston transmission line between Weston Power Plant and Stone Lake Substation in Sawyer County. The line is now in service, though carrying less than its full capacity, and will reinforce the existing transmission system in northwest Wisconsin. It will carry the full 345-kV load when the line is completed in 2008.
"This is a giant step forward for the residents and businesses of northwest Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest. With Arrowhead-Weston becoming a reality, electric system reliability will be greatly improved," said Pete Holtz, ATC project manager of the Arrowhead-Weston line. "Cooperation from residents along the line has been a critical component in getting this important public works project nearer to completion."
Testing of the line began Nov. 16, according to Holtz, without any major problems and was placed in service Nov. 30. The Weston to Stone Lake segment will reinforce the area between Wausau and Hayward so construction can continue north to Douglas County and the City of Superior. The energized line will supply needed power as the existing lines are taken out of service and rebuilt on the new 345-kV structures.
"We still have 66 miles to go, but our engineering and construction crews deserve a tremendous amount of credit for the superb work they've done on this project," said Dave Valine, Wisconsin Public Service Corp. construction coordinator. "This is a major accomplishment, the benefits of which Wisconsin residents will soon reap."
Construction on the Arrowhead-Weston project currently is focused in Douglas and Washburn counties. Completion of the 210-mile transmission line project is scheduled before May 2008. The project is entering its ninth year of planning, development, approval and construction.
ATC will own and operate the line upon completion. WPS has been in charge of construction activities and coordinating those activities with Minnesota Power, which has already completed the 12-mile segment in Minnesota.