WI alternative – 161 kV through Florence Township?

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on February 5, 2012 @ 9:16 am

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission awarded Citizens Utility Board Intervenor Compensation, and specified that part of their charge was to “address in its analysis the implications of lower voltage solutions in the LaCrosse area given American Transmission Company LLC’s testimony regarding locations for a future transmission line interconnection with the proposed CapX 2020 345 kV line.”

PSC Order – CUB Intervenor Compensation

So what is this “lower voltage solutions” all about?

Xcel Energy proposed several 161kV “solutions” to the claimed need problem in the LaCrosse area, including a line going over “Site P” in Florence Township, after it filed its application and got the word that its “need” claim wasn’t flying:

Xcel Supplemental Need Study – August 2011

Here they are (they start on p. 5 of the study linked above):

  • LaCrosse 161 kV Alternative: The 161 kV La Crosse Alternative includes 161 kV fixes for the La Crosse area and a 345 kV line from Hampton to North Rochester and two 161 kV lines from North Rochester to the Rochester load serving area. For La Crosse, this includes reconductoring/rebuilding a number of lines in the La Crosse area and building a new 161 kV transmission line across the Mississippi River to connect to the Prairie Island source at Spring Creek Substation. Figure B shows the 161 kV La Crosse Alternative. Full details of this option can be found in Section


  • Initial 161 kV North Rochester – Briggs Road Alternative and Revised Alternative: The option which included a 161 kV line from North Rochester to Briggs Road is shown in Figure C below. This option was first introduced in the TSSR and was shown to have a load serving capability of 550 MW. Following the TSSR, planning engineers analyzed what facilities would be necessary to have this alternative serve load to the same level realized by the 345 kV Project and the La Crosse 161 kV Alternative and concluded that to reach 750 MW load level, the alternative needed to tie in at a new substation near Alma and include all the reconductoring associated with the Reconductor Only option described below. The 161 kV North Rochester – Briggs Road (revised to serve 750 MW) Alternative is shown in Figure D. Full details of these alternatives are in Section


  • 161 kV North Rochester – Briggs Road (revised to serve to 750 MW) Alternative:


Oh my, that first one is a really bad idea… Does Xcel Energy get that the first option, the “Spring Creek-Lake City-Alma-LaCrosse” line runs right through “Site P” for nuclear waste in Florence?  Does Xcel Energy really want to stir up Florence Township again?  They proposed this… Xcel, better duck and cover!

Also, note that in the first “Briggs Road” option, it doesn’t connect to the Alma substation.  But in the second, it does.  Seems that connecting in Alma is required to deliver the 750 MW?  Why is that?

And another question — what is Xcel Energy doing to notify the people on these “low voltage” routes that they are being offered as alternatives to the CapX 2020 345kV Hampton-Rochester-LaCrosse transmission project?  Anything?????

This Spring Creek (Prairie Island) – LaCrosse proposal is the same route that S.O.U.L. and North American Water Office were advocating as a 345kV alternative to the Arrowhead line:

Arrowhead Transmission Project #2 – Decision Matrix (selected)

Gee, thanks a lot!  Wonder why they’d advocate for that route, why advocate FOR any line?  Hmmmmmm… that was not long after North American Water Office signed the transmission deal:

Settlement Agreement – MCEA, Waltons, ME3, NAWO filed with PUC 6/23/03

Deja vu all over again…

one comment so far »

  1. SOUL is advocating for any alternate route? Don’t know what URI means or have I heard of N. A. Water. Sorry to sound so ignorant That colors my opinion of SOUL. It all makes less & less sense….going thru Florence…..

    Comment by Toni Yeske — February 5, 2012 @ 6:52 pm

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace