Construction is underway on the American Transmission Co. 345-kV Pleasant Prairie-Zion Energy Center Transmission Line Project, which will link substations in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Although only a little more than 5 mi long, the project will deliver significant economic and reliability benefits.
The new line will relieve congestion on the existing transmission system in the area, allowing output from the most economic power plants in the region to supply electricity more of the time. It also strengthens the interstate connection between Wisconsin and Illinois. The project also presents a unique construction challenge - while most of the route crosses industrial property, a portion will traverse a closed, solid-waste landfill. Special environmental and foundation design measures are being used to protect soil and groundwater. Methane gas build-up can be commonplace in landfills, and levels will be monitored to protect worker safety. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has reviewed and approved construction plans and environmental safeguards.
An in-service date of 2013 is expected.