American Transmission Co. is announcing a transmission line and substation project to improve electric system reliability in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

“The Bay Lake Project will improve electric system performance in the region as well as increase stability and reliability of the system,” said David Smith, ATC manager of reliability planning. “Reinforcements of the electrical transmission grid in northeastern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula are needed due to a combination of factors, including reliability concerns, generation changes and changes in demand.”

Although ATC has made reinforcements in the region in the past six years, the transmission upgrades have not kept pace with the changing needs. Reduced output from generating units at power plants in the region has placed increasing importance on transmission.

The Bay Lake Project will address these concerns and includes the following components:

  • a 345-kV line from a new substation in the Green Bay, Wis., area to an expanded substation near Ishpeming, Mich., (about 175 miles)
  • a 138-kV line from the new Green Bay area substation to the Morgan Substation near Oconto Falls, Wis., (about 40 miles) and
  • two 138-kV lines between the Menominee County and the Escanaba, Mich., areas (about 60 miles).

Preliminary cost of the facilities is estimated to be between $470 million and $705 million for the 345-kV projects and between $125 million and $190 million for the 138-kV projects.

The announcement of the project kicks off an inclusive and thorough process of public involvement and regulatory review. ATC will hold a series of informational open houses to encourage public input on potential routes.

Following public outreach, ATC expects to file applications to build the line with regulatory agencies in Michigan and Wisconsin in late 2013 and in early 2014. If approved by both states, construction of the project would begin in 2015 to meet an in-service date of late 2016.